Where to hang bird feeders

Best Places To Hang Bird Feeders In Your Yard & Garden Guide

Birds are beautiful and delightful to watch. And, placing a bird feeder in your yard provides a sanctuary for our feathered friends. But, it’s important to place bird feeders in the right places so that birds can stay safe, be seen, and attract birds to your yard and garden. 

Where is the best place to hang a bird feeder? Bird Feeders should be hung away from trunks or branches where cats can easily reach the birds. They should be placed in a location that doesn’t cause window crashes and that provides protection from hawks and eagles.

A shepherd’s hook is an ideal tool for hanging bird feeders.

Most feeders should be placed in the sunlight, but hummingbird feeders should be placed in the shade. 

Of course, the exact placement of bird feeders depends on the types of birds and feed you are using.

It’s important to know what birds are in your area so you can use the right feeder and offer the right food.  

Let’s take a closer look. 

I’ve also got specific articles on different types of bird feeders and how to attract birds to them. 

  • How To Place Feeders And Keep Birds Safe 
  • Hummingbird Feeders
  • Oriole Feeders
  • Bluebird Feeders
  • Robin Feeders
  • Finch Feeders
  • Suet Feeders 

Bird Feeders Shouldn’t Contribute To Window Deaths 

Did you know? 

An estimated 100 million birds a year are killed in the United States from window crashes.  

The placement of your bird feeder near or far from a window is important because it can mean death for the very birds you are feeding. 

If your feeders are placed near a window, then birds leaving the feeder are more likely to crash into the glass and die. 

So, if you want to bird watch, make sure to place the feeder 3 feet or less from the window. That makes it less likely that a bird can reach fast speeds before crashing. 

This will help to keep the birds safe. 


You can place your feeders 30 or more feet away from your windows. This makes the birds less likely to see and crash into your windows as a result of trying to feed. 

If your yard or apartment layout makes it impossible to have the bird feeder very far or very close to your window, then you can break up the reflection on your windows. 

This is a good idea, even if you don’t have bird feeders out. 

Check this out! 

You can use almost whatever supplies you have on hand. Think about what you need to break up the reflection. 

Window screens help to break up the reflection. 

You can also use paint to decorate your windows. Pain helps to disperse the light and shows that the window is there. 

Streamers and deer netting can do the same thing. Plus deer netting placed 1 foot away from the window will help to cushion the impact if a bird flies into the glass. 

Some birders will criss-cross branches on the glass to help birds to see it better. 

Or, you can add decorative decals that reflect ultraviolet light. This makes it super obvious to birds that the window is in the way. Collidescape is used on commercial buildings with mega-large windows. 

Birds, flowers, and other decorations are often used on home and apartment windows. 

How to keep birds from crashing into windows

  • Place bird feeders 3 feet or less from windows or 30+ feet away
  • Add screens to windows to break up the reflection 
  • Place reflective decals on windows 
  • Use deer net to cushion the blow
  • Paint decorations on the windows
  • Add branches, streamers or other material to the window to show the surface of the glass

Place Bird Feeders In A Safe Place From Predators 

Birds usually congregate around feeders. This means that it doesn’t take long before predators also stop by for a taste to eat. 

Most birds are in danger both from the ground and from the sky. 

The #1 biggest ground predator to birds is the domestic cat. 

Did you know? 

Domestic cats are responsible for causing the extinction of several species of birds. Plus there are even more species that are currently endangered because of domestic cats. 

Even a single cat can do much damage to the local bird population. 


There are several things you can do. First, put a bell around your cat’s neck. This helps to warn birds of an oncoming predator. 

It doesn’t create 100% safety for the birds but will help. 

Next, place your bird feeders close to a shelter, but not so close a cat can jump and catch the birds. 

This can be tricky. 

You will want to place most bird feeders in the open. Birds like to eat in the sunshine. 

Feeders should be at least 10-15 feet from tree trunks, poles, and branches large enough for cats to climb. 

But, they should also be within 10-15 feet of shelter so that your birds have protection from the sky. 

Hawks, eagles, and other predatory birds love smaller birds for lunch. 

Small bushes, trees, and even roof overhangs can provide protection from birds of prey. 

Shepherds hooks make it easier to place your bird feeder in an area that’s safe for birds. You can place it near a tree, but far enough out that a cat can’t jump from the branches. 

That offers shelter and safety for your birds. 

Keep Birds Safe From Predators 

  • Add a bell to feline collars to warn birds
  • Place feeders 5-10 feet from poles, branches, and tree trunks 
  • Place feeders within 10 feed of bushes, trees and other protection. 
  • Trees can be dangerous and protective for birds
  • Cats can climb trees, but they also protect birds from birds of prey 
  • Careful placement of feeders will ensure the safety of your local bird population

But, that’s not all! 

You will also want to protect your birdseed and bird feeders from being destroyed by pillaging chipmunks, squirrels, and raccoons. 

Place Feeders Out Of The Wind 

You probably don’t like eating a picnic on a windy day. 

Most birds don’t either. 

Make sure you place your bird feeders away from windy areas. 

If you live in a constantly windy area, like me, then place them near other buildings, trees, or fences where they will get some protection from the wind.

Most backyards have micro-areas that have less wind than the rest of the yard or garden. 

Look for those areas. 

Place Bird Feeders In The Sunshine  

Most birds like to eat in the sunshine. It gives them a better view to watch for predators and warms them. 

They also like to rest in the shade and keep an eye on their food. 

When eating, they don’t like to be completely out in the open. 

So a feeder that’s placed in an area where it’s sunny and shaded for part of the day works well. 

A full-sun feeder also works well as long as it’s near to other natural protection. 

This means:

That by putting your feeder near, but not under, tree branches or bushes is a great location. Birds can rest on the branches, watch their food, and fly into the sunshine to eat. 

They should be close enough to escape into leaves for safety as needed. 

But, not all feeders should be in the sunlight. Check out specifics for the birds you are hoping to attract below! 

Consider Hanging Feeders Near Evergreens 

Evergreens are great protection for birds year-round. The needles offer shelter and protection all year round after other trees have lost their leaves. 

Optimal Placement For Convenience And Enjoyment 

When you place your bird feeders, consider where they will be visible. One of the best things about bird feeders is being able to enjoy them and to watch the various birds that come to eat. 

Consider where they will be viewable from windows, benches, or other favorite places in your garden. 

They should also be easily accessible. Bird Feeders need to be refilled often. 

If you choose to take them down at night to reduce night raids by scavengers, then they will need to be easily reached. 

Plus, they should also be cleaned about once a week to keep them sanitary so the birds don’t spread any illnesses. 

When Should You Hang Bird Feeders?

The most popular time to hang bird feeders is in the spring and summer. Birds often abound and their presence is more easily noticed. 

But, birds also need food and water in the winter, especially those that don’t migrate away from your area. 

Or, those that migrate to your area for the winter if you live in a southern location. 

Ideally, you should have some feeders hanging all year round. 

You may need to rotate the types of feeders and food, depending on what birds are in your area in each season. 

What Should I Use In My Bird Feeders? 

There are five main types of food for bird feeders. 

  • Nectar feeders
  • Birdseed feeders 
  • Fruit feeders
  • Insect feeders
  • Suet feeders

The best feed for your bird feeders will depend on the type of birds you want to attract. 

Remember the Rule of 2. The Rule of 2 states how long it takes birds to find your feeder. 

It usually takes 2 seconds, 2 minutes, 2 hours, 2 days, 2 months or sometimes 2 years. 

So, be patient. 

In addition to the types of bird feed, there are also many types of bird feeders. They can be broken into several categories: 

  • Table feeders, or flat feeders 
  • Platform feeders with a roof also called hopper feeders
  • Tube feeders: hollow cylinder with multiple feeding ports and perches 
  • Nectar feeders 
  • Suet feeders
Table Feeders           Platform feeders Tube Feeders      Nectar Feeders     Suet Feeders    
Ground birds:



Song sparrows

Fox sparrows




* small hoppers prevent large birds from feeding

Finches  Hummingbirds 




Now that you know everything about where to place your bird feeder, check out Part 2 which tells you where to place a hummingbird feeder.

Or you might be interested in these related articles: 

How To Attract Birds To Your Bird Feeder

How To Keep Raccoons, Squirrels, and Chipmunks Away From Bird Feeders

Feature Image Credit: Flickr Tim Green

Scroll to Top