With more than 57 million households investing in one of America’s fastest-growing hobbies and 4$ billion spent annually on bird food, it’s safe to say that window bird feeders are the new norm. Not only do they help our little flying fellows find their food, but they also protect birds from colliding into windows.
You see, birds can’t discern glass. As a result, more than one billion birds die every year in the US, some outright and many others later due to head and neck injuries. So, by placing bird feeders in windows, you get to protect birds as well as get the best possible views up close and personal.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Window-mounted Bird Feeders?
Window-mounted bird feeders are a stellar way of getting closer to nature and feasting your eyes on soul-enriching birds. Here are the most important benefits:
Improve mental health by getting closer to nature. Research shows that people closer to nature enjoy positive emotions of joy, creativity, and concentration while having lower levels of anxiety and depression. Window bird feeders are ideal for connecting with nature, especially for people with low mobility or access outdoors, as they’re able to watch their guests at will.
Entertain kids and teach them about birds. The sooner kids are introduced to the awesome pastime of birdwatching, the better. By installing window-mounted bird feeders, you are a good example of caring about nature and encourage kids to do the same.
Protect birds from colliding into windows. As we mentioned earlier, it’s of the utmost importance to protect birds from crashing into windows and dying. By placing the feeders near windows, we encourage birds to slow down, so they’re most likely to avoid injuries even if they collide.
Support wildlife conservation. Studies show that bird feeding is one of the most intimate, private, and profound forms of human interaction with nature. People learn to observe nature and take action to respond to natural events that could impact the health of the birds, such as threatening cats, hawks, or even extreme weather.
Enjoy your favorite pastime. If you’re fascinated by pretty birds, the best way to enjoy the company of our feathered friends is by installing bird feeders in windows. Unfortunately, not all of us live near forests and bird sanctuaries. So, if you simply want to experience your childhood fascination without leaving your home, this is the best way to do it.
Transfer the feeders based on your location. Window-mounted bird feeders don’t require large backyards and gardens, and most houses already have windows that support them. Your kitchen and dining windows are especially excellent for installing them. If, however, you need to switch locations, bird feeders are easily transferred.
Naturally, bird feeders for windows also come with their disadvantages. Let’s review them:
Not appropriate for larger birds. Due to their construction, window-mounted bird feeders can’t easily hold a huge number of birds altogether. In addition, large birds can’t easily sit on window feeders unless they’re designed to support them.
Other animals might interfere. Squirrels and chipmunks share the same love for bird seeds, so they might enter the feeders due to their open structure. This might damage your plastic feeders and deprive birds of their food. However, it all comes down to the product structure you’ll opt for.
Some birds hit on reflective windows. Although window bird feeders are meant to protect birds, some windows are very reflective and confuse birds. As a result, they might hit the glass windows hard after seeing their reflections and eventually hurt themselves. To avoid that, you can use curtains, window stickers, or even screens that work as a visual warning
It’s safe to say that all window feeders’ disadvantages can easily be mitigated. It all comes down to the quality of the product you’ll choose and the precautions you’ll take. With the right type of window bird feeder, you can maximize the pros and enjoy your favorite hobby.
What Are the Different Types of Bird Feeders?
The concept of window bird feeders is bringing birds right under your nose. There are different types of window feeders based on shape, size, ease of use, hygiene, and visibility factors. Here are the most important ones:
1. Suet Cage Window Bird Feeder
A squirrel-proof window bird feeder with suction cups designed to give you a closer look at specific bird species. Due to its metal grills, it’s ideal for woodpeckers, nuthatches, and chickadees, while also providing a great foothold for the birds. Instead of filling it with seeds, you place suet cakes. This type of window bird feeder is compact and lightweight. Although it’s quite comfy for the birds, it doesn’t have a plastic or glass protection roof, which exposes the birds to rain.
2. Large, Clear Acrylic Window Bird Feeder
One of the most common problems bird watchers face is getting a clear view of their birdie buddies. Usually, two obstacles block that view, the window reflections and the back of the feeder. Luckily, there is a solution with transparent bird feeders that stick to the window, eliminating one of their screens, which offers a clearer view.
This is achieved due to a hole in the middle of the feeder, giving you direct visual access to the birds. Plus, these acrylic window bird feeders have side walls preventing other animals from entering and a high roof, giving more space and keeping the seeds dry.
3. Large Platform Window Feeder
If your goal is to accommodate larger birds like doves, then this heavy-duty window bird feeder with suction cups is what you need. Usually handmade with cedarwood and an aluminum bottom for holding extra weight, it’s designed to nestle your bird visitors for as long as they like. One of its pros is that you don’t have to clean it regularly since it empties slower and the refilling is less frequent.
4. Hummingbird Window Bird Feeder
If you have a particular admiration for hummingbirds, then this window bird feeder is meant for you. Structured like a tube with petal-shaped access points that mimic actual flowers, it doesn’t hold seeds or nuts but nectar. As you might know, nectar is sweet and sticky, so it might attract other insects like bees. However, its faux flowers eventually keep the bees away and assists hummingbirds in accessing their food. Its detachable tube can be easily cleaned and refilled.
5. Small, Clear Acrylic Window Feeder
This acrylic window feeder is aesthetically pleasing with its small roofs that keep the seeds dry and the birds protected in case of rain. It’s small compared to other types of feeders, so it’s also intended for smaller birds. This means that it limits your bird watching, but it’s also easily manageable. It mounts to the window with suction cups and allows you to enjoy the view comfortably due to its see-through surfaces.
Window Bird Feeders FAQs
1. How Do Birds Find Window Bird Feeders?
Using a popular seed type or seed blend based on the birds you have in your area is one of the fastest ways for birds to spot your feeder. In addition, spreading seeds on the ground directly beneath the feeder or in the area nearby can also help the birds spot it. If you already have multiple feeders in your yard, you might consider taking them down for a while until the birds get used to your new feeder.
2. Are Window Bird Feeders Safe?
If you ever had the unfortunate experience of a bird smashing into your window, placing a window feeder directly onto it might seem counter-intuitive. However, fear not! Research shows that feeders placed less than 3 feet away from a window drop the fatal strikes to zero. In addition, it seems that birds are more likely to see the glass, and even if they don’t see it, they’re less likely to build up enough momentum that’ll result in a deadly collision.
3. How to Keep Squirrels Away From Window Bird Feeders?
Window bird feeders are essentially open trays with food that might not have much protection from squirrels. However, depending on the type you choose, feeders attached to windows generally make it harder for squirrels to reach. Also, feeders with sidewalls offer good protection. Additional ways of keeping squirrels away include placing food they don’t eat, like safflower seeds, nyjer seeds, or white proso millet. Alternatively, you can have fun with your squirrels and feed them in a separate feeder easily accessible to them.
4. How Do See-through Window Bird Feeders Work?
See-through bird feeders mount to your window with suction cups that hold them in place. Their transparent material allows both bird lovers to enjoy their favorite view and birds to feed without interference.
5. Where to Place Bird Feeders So That Birds Won't Hit the Window?
Ideally, you want to place bird feeders closer than 3 feet to your window. This will help birds feed without risking smashing into the glass or window frames. If window strikes are a particular problem for you, there are also alternatives like using window stickers or curtains.