Best bird feeders to bring wildlife to your garden

A guide to the best bird feeding stations to get the birds coming back to your garden every day.

Bird feeder hung in garden with bird eating

by Caitlin Casey |

Coming into spring and summer, we see more British garden birds make their way to our fully stocked bird feeders looking for food. Putting a bird feeding station in your back or front garden allows space for these birds to come and perch when you want to enjoy British nature.

If you're upgrading your garden with some modern furniture or a cosy cocoon chair, you'll want something to watch while enjoying the outdoors and what better than a bird feeder to encourage wildlife into your outdoor haven.

Whether you want to enjoy birds flitting about your bird feeding station with a cup of tea or just see them come in and out, bird feeders can help to ensure they keep coming back.

Which bird feeder attracts the most birds?

There are different types of bird feeders to consider that will suit your garden and the type of wildlife you want to attract according to the RSPB.

Seed feeders: These are ideal for small birds to medium-sized birds like sparrows, robins, finches, woodpeckers and blackbirds and can be hung on a bird feeding station, tree, hook or anywhere suitable. They tend to come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so have fun picking out a seed feeder to fill with sunflower seeds and hearts, or other seed mixes.

Ground feeders: This is a bird feeding table that sits low to the ground and is ideal for birds like blackbirds, thrushes, wrens and robins. But these can also attract other animals looking for food like squirrels, pigeons, rats and cats so consider getting a protector cage to prevent them from getting access.

Nut feeders: These are perfect to attract birds like woodpeckers that can cling to the feeder and are often made from steel mesh. RSPB recommends, "The mesh size needs to be large enough to prevent beak damage and small enough to prevent large pieces of nut from being removed – about 6 mm is a good compromise."

Suet feeders: These feeders have wider holes so that birds can access the suet balls or suet cakes that fit inside. Suet feeders will likely attract members of the tit family and starlings.

Where should I hang a bird feeder?

It's easy to pick up a bird feeder from any common garden centre or home store in the UK. Usually, the problem is getting the bird feeder in the right place so that the birds actually feed on it and predators don't steal the food!

Firstly, you should always put your bird feeder near some green space - like a tree or bush. This helps to ensure the birds aren't exposed to the open and are safe from predators. This goes for noisy spaces too, which will scare birds off.

Remember stability. You want your bird feeder to be stable enough that it doesn't fall over and can take the weight of the birds. You can put metal spikes or secure hanging lines to ensure that it doesn't affect the feeder.

All birds are different, some like feeders higher up and others - like blackbirds - like to feed on the ground. Consider investing in a few feeders and placing them around your garden to test and see which works best. Remember you can leave out nuts and seeds on floors and flat spaces to see if birds start to pick them up.

Other animals can become a problem. Squirrels and foxes are pesky and will come back if they have access to constant food and scare away birds. If you want to attract more birds, make sure to hang your feeders up higher so foxes can't get them and away from any place squirrels can jump onto them.

Best bird feeders and stations UK

Here's our selection of best bird feeders we recommend, with every kind of garden or balcony in mind.

Oakdale 3-Hood Bird Feeding Station

Best bird feeding station for easy assemble
oakdale 3 hook deluxe bird feeder
Amazon

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Amazon

This is a great bird feeder with different heights and is extremely easy to assemble. We like that it's an all-in-one bird feeder so that you can mount food, water and bird seeds all at once. With a spiked squirrel-resistant base, you'll have all the birds hanging out in no time.

Why we like it: Three-piece pole design that's easy to assemble

Dimensions: 65.8H x 21.5W cm

Review: "Bought as a present for my son who absolutely loves it. He’s had endless hours of pleasure watching the birds which have helped considerably during his recovery from Covid-19."

Honeyfield's Wild Bird All in 1 Dining Station

Best bird feeding station with all-in-one
Honeyfield's Wild Bird Prem All in 1 Feeding Dining Station
Amazon

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Amazon

The birds will have lots of space on this all-in-one bird feeder with 12 hangers, giving lots of opportunity for bird action in your back garden. Make sure to use the detachable twin fork for extra stability as well as adding your trays for food and water.

Why we like it: Twelve hanging points means lots of room

Dimensions: 210H x 60W cm

Review: "This is the best bird station I’ve ever bought, this one is so strong and easy to put together - with the extra fork part at bottom of the station it’s so sturdy. I'm filling the water and food bowl up every day."

Maypole Slate Bird Table

Best wooden bird feeding station
maypole slate bird table
Amazon

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Amazon

Handmade in the UK, this sturdy wooden bird feeder is made out of sustainable wood made with Marcide coating - preventing any diseases from spreading. Sustainable, well-built and safe - what more could you want?

Why we like it: Sustainable treated wood that's sturdy

Dimensions: 136.5H x 36W cm

Review: "Excellent little bird table and it represents great value for money. I could not really be any happier with the overall results and will be ordering another for my front garden so that I can observe birds from both front and back rooms."

Green Jem Wild Bird Feeding Station with Leaves

Best smaller bird feeder
green jem wild bird feeding station
Amazon

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Amazon

This Green Jem bird feeder is an attractive station to add to any modern garden. With the cutout leaves and birds, it gives a lot of space for any bird to perch and you can adjust each branch to position how you like. It's a smaller size so great if you'd like a bird feeder without taking up too much space.

Why we like it: A smaller bird feeder that looks great

Dimensions: 65.8H x 21.2W cm

Review: "This is a very nice and easy to put together product providing ample hanging points for bird feeders. Looks pleasant too."

Riverside Woodcraft Feeding Station

Best large bird feeding station
riverside feeding station
Amazon

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Amazon

Another multi-function bird feeder, this station is great for those with larger gardens. It has a seed feeder bracket so you can add on another bird feeder and has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial wood covering.

Why we like it: Better for large gardens with anti-fungal, anti-bacterial coating

Dimensions: 130H x 25W cm

Review: "Great looking sturdy bird table, bought specifically to feed pigeons because we love them. My sons put it together in about 20 minutes with the screws lining up well. It also looks great and we're pleased!"

Supa Wild Bird Feeding Station

Best bird feeder with accessories
Supa Wild Bird Feeding Station
Amazon

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This bird feeder has three hooks and two dishes so that you can adjust what you want to attract the birds. This is one of Amazon's Best Choices so you know it's good with highly-rated reviews.

Why we like it: Lots of choice in adjusting accessories

Dimensions: 188H x 21.2W cm

Review: "Fantastic bird station has everything your garden birds need. Easy to assemble and would look fantastic in any garden. Highly recommend."

Honeyfield's Wild Bird Feeder Pole

The best simple bird feeding station
Honeyfield's Wild Bird Feeder Pole
Amazon

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Not looking for anything fancy? This Honeyfield's bird feeding pole is great if you just want a station that's simple. With a couple of hooks for your birds to perch on, this is an easy bird feeder.

Why we like it: Great if you're looking for a minimalistic look

Dimensions: 49H x 10W cm

Review: "The bird feeder was easy to slot together and seems stable enough so I think it will be fine when it is windy. For the price, as a basic feeder with two arms for hanging feeders from, it's very reasonable."

Garden Mile Wooden Garden Bird Table

The best bird feeding station for easy filling
garden mile wooden garden bird table
Amazon

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Amazon

A classic-looking bird table, this comes with a removable feeder which makes refilling the food extremely easy. As well as this, it has a great shelter so birds can come in no matter the weather.

Why we like it: Bird feeder with a removable tray for bird food

Dimensions: 118H x 53W cm

Review: "Really pleased with this product. Good assembly instructions, and fast delivery. "

RSPB Premium feeding station

The best for feeding a variety of bird species
RSPB Premium feeding station

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Straight from the RSPB, we recommend this premium bird feeder with multi-functions to serve a variety of birds in your garden. With safety and stability in mind, just add your feeders to this station and the birds will be flocking in no time.

Why we like it: Recommended by the RSPB for its durability

Dimensions: 225H x 35W cm

Review: "Feeding station arrived today and is now in place in my garden, the instructions were very easy to follow and the product appears to be of good quality and sturdy."

Nature's Market Hanging Bird Table

The best hanging bird feeding station
natures market bird table
Amazon

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Amazon

Don't have anywhere to put a birdhouse or bird feeding pole? This hanging bird table by Nature's Market is perfect for any garden or balcony with not much standing space. A classic style, it will look great in any garden.

Why we like it: Great for gardens with a lack of standing space

Dimensions: 20H x 10W cm

Review: "Worth the price. As for me, it is cheaper buying this than building it by myself. For this price, you can't go wrong."

Can I build my own bird feeding station?

If you're an avid DIY-er, all you need is some wooden panels and a few screws. You may want to invest in some anti-fungal and anti-bacterial wooden gloss to ensure that the birds will be safe when they're eating.

Check out this video below for a full example of making your own bird feeder.

Can I feed birds on a budget?

Of course! Making your garden the best it can be doesn't have to be expensive, it can be a bargain. There are many ways of feeding birds than having to fork out on smaller supermarket packets frequently.

One way is to buy in bulk. If you have the space to store it then buying a large bag of birdseed or nuts is a great way to cut back on prices. Check out this kilogram of birdseed for less than a tenner.

If you don't have space, you can also hand-make your own bird food such as fat balls with leftover fats from meats you have may cooked. It's a great way to have a DIY session with kids or grandkids too!

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