Top 5 Weatherproof Bird Feeders to Keep Your Feathered Friends Happy

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Birds rely on backyard feeders as a vital food source, especially during harsh weather. But rain, snow and ice can quickly render basic feeders useless, spilling or waterlogging the contents. Investing in weatherproof bird feeders allows you to provide life-sustaining nutrition through storms.

How Bad Weather Impacts Bird Feeders

Bird feeders are designed for fair weather use. But they face challenges in heavy rain, snow, and ice: When regular feeders can’t withstand foul weather, weatherproof bird feeders become essential.


Precipitation causes birdseed to become wet and moldy. It can also erode or decompose wooden and plastic feeders over time. Weatherproof bird feeders are designed to prevent these issues caused by exposure to rain and snow.


Low temperatures cause water and condensation inside feeders to freeze. Ice prevents access to food. Weatherproof bird feeders are insulated or built with heaters to avoid problems with freezing.


The accumulated weight of snow, ice, and soaked seed can damage feeder tubes, platforms, hooks, and poles. Weatherproof bird feeders are constructed of durable materials that can withstand the heavy weight of snow and ice buildup.


Replenishing feeders requires going outdoors in unpleasant conditions. Frequent winter refilling and replacing ruined feeders becomes labor intensive and expensive. Weatherproof bird feeders only need occasional refilling and stand up to harsh elements without needing constant replacement.

Benefits of Weatherproof Bird Feeders

Weatherproof Bird Feeders

Investing in weather resistant models provides multiple advantages:

  • Birds have consistent access to energy-rich food through storms
  • Seeds stay dry, fresh and mold-free
  • Feeders don’t need emptied after wet weather
  • Durable materials prevent damage from snow weight and ice
  • Saving time and money on replacing ruined feeders
  • Enjoy watching birds through window in comfort

With quality weatherproof feeders, you can provide essential nutritional support to birds and enjoy watching them whatever the weather brings.

Features to Look for in Weatherproof Feeders

Specialized materials and design features allow some feeders to withstand the elements: Weatherproof bird feeders are constructed with these specialized traits.

Waterproof Construction

Metal construction prevents deterioration from moisture. Avoid wood, which can warp and rot.

Watertight Seals

Tight-fitting lids, doors and seed ports prevent water seepage into storage chambers.

Drainage Holes

Holes in the base allow drainage so water doesn’t pool at the bottom.

Squirrel Baffles

Keep squirrels from chewing through to get dry seed in wet weather.

Durable Hanger

A sturdy hanger prevents the feeder falling under the weight of snow and ice accumulation. Weatherproof bird feeders come with durable hanging hardware designed not to bend or snap under heavy winter precipitation.

Best Weatherproof Feeder Types

Weatherproof Bird Feeders

These common feeder styles available in weatherproof versions handle harsh weather well:

Tube Feeders

Tube feeders constructed of aluminum or steel with watertight base and ports stay filled with dry seed even in driving rain or snow. Perches give birds a place to wait out storms.

Hopper Feeders

Hopper feeders made of metal or plastic with rubber gaskets around the lid and seed ports keep contents safe from moisture. The large capacity requires less refilling.

Window Feeders

Covered window-mounted feeders allow closeup viewing from indoors without exposing food to the elements.

Platform Feeders

Plastic or metal mesh platform feeders with rain covers and drain holes keep seed from getting soaked and rotting.

DIY Hacks for Weatherizing Feeders

Weatherproof Bird Feeders

If buying new weatherproof feeders isn’t in your budget, here are some simple DIY approaches to protect feeders:

  • Add a plastic bin lid roof overhanging to deflect precipitation
  • Seal openings with clear caulk, silicone sealant or rubber grommets
  • Wrap wire mesh around the feeder openings to block wind-driven rain
  • Add good drainage holes in the bottom to prevent water pooling
  • Check and refresh sealants before winter

With some creativity, you can extend the life of standard feeders. But manufactured weatherproof models are worth the investment for less hassle.

Positioning Tips for Weatherproof Feeders

Proper placement is also key to keep birds and seed dry:

  • Mount under eaves or cover to provide overhead shelter
  • Avoid exposed locations battered by wind and precipitation
  • Place multiple smaller covered feeders around your property
  • Set up very close to windows for easy viewing
  • Angle drainage holes downward to let water run off

Think about prevailing winds and runoff patterns when siting weatherproof feeders.

How Do You Weatherproof a Bird Feeder

Keeping bird feeders filled is a joy for those who enjoy watching avian visitors flock to their yards. However, weatherelements can damage untreated feeders, causing seedspoilage, corrosion, rotting, and inability to keep seed dry. Planning materials and protection methods ahead of time creates durable, long-lasting feeders.

Can Bird Feeders Stay Out In The Rain

Bird feeders can remainoutside in all weather conditions with thoughtful weatherproofing materials and positioning:

  • Use metal (steel, galvanized iron) or plastic feeders resistant to water – avoid wood which deteriorates
  • Hang feeders under eaves/covers to minimize direct rainfalland prevent soggy seed
  • Face drain holes downwards and keep them unclogged so moisture does not pool
  • Take down feeders ahead of extreme weather like hurricanes or heavy winter storms to prevent damage

With adequate preparations, you can keep feeders outside permanently and birds will have a consistent food source rain or shine.

How Do You Feed Birds In Wet Weather

Severalcreative solutions for keeping birdseed dry exist beyond buying weatherproof feeders:

  • Attach an awning above any hanging feeder to divert rainwater
  • Keep seedshelltered under a covered porch area and scatter on floor
  • Use platform feeders which birds can access from beneath on rainy days
  • Build your own canopy structure of wood/PVC over feeders
  • Keep a stock of suet blocks which hold up well in soggy conditions

Getting innovative with shelters and positioning allows birds to access seed even when the weather takes a turn.

What Is The Best Material For a Bird Feeder

Cedar Wood– Natural appearance
– Stainable
– Biodegradable
– Needs water protection sealant
– Prone to chewing damage
– Grains absorb into pores
Plastic– Colorful options
– Super easy cleaning
– Impervious to water
– Can fade over time
– Not as attractive
– Needs UV protection
– Brittle from sun/cold
Galvanized Iron– Very durable metal
– Withstands all weather
– Long lifespan
– Heavier than other feeders
– Can have sharp edges
– Needs cleaned of rust
Steel– Powder coating options
– Very tough material
– Maintains color well
– Avoid bare steel
Recycled Plastic Composite– Made from recycled milk jugs etc
– Easy to clean smooth finish
– Good durability
– Limited color options
– Needs rinsed of grain dust

What Material Do Birds Not Like

The materials above all make excellent, safe choices that birdsadapt to readily. Considerations when birds may reject certain surfaces:

  • Brand new shiny stainless steel – matte powder coating is better
  • Super slick plastic lacking good perches/grips
  • Wide openings without shelf perches cause spilled seed
  • Woodpeckers dislike smooth surfaces without texture for gripping

Install new feeders well ahead of needing them so birds have time to investigate and get accustomed to any unfamiliar materials before relying on them.

How Can I Make A Homemade Bird Feeder

With recycled items and basic DIY skills, unique homemade feeders can be created for pennies. Simple ideas for putting materials to use:

VesselExample Methods
Plastic Bottles– Clean 2-liter bottle, cut hole shapes with knife
– Cut bottom off, invert spout into bottle
Milk Cartons– Rinse carton, cut hole shape, string tie closure
– Punch holes to thread wire hanger
Fruit Nets– Use whole fruit bag nets
– Cut into pouches, hang with twine
Small Baskets– Affix cuphooks on underside
– Weave twigs/twine into sides

Design creativity knows no limits when choosing reused items as feeding stations. As long as edges are smoothand materials used safely, birds take readily to alternative vessels.

How To Make A Cheap Homemade Bird Feeder

Follow a few basic guidelines for easily constructing inexpensive DIY feeders:

Use Free Materials Scour recycling bins, trash day piles, and garage workshops for usable plastic, glass, metal, wire, net bags, wood bits etc. Raid the pantry for items like cleaned yogurt cups.

Focus On Simple Shapes
Less complex shapes with a few cutout holes or open tops allow birds to access seed easily across all sides without tricky doors/lids to work.

Consider Weight
Lightweight containers avoid challenges hanging them up for display. Or place heavy items like clay pots on pedestals.

Smooth Edges
File down, tape or pad any sharp cut rims/wire ends so birds don’t risk injury.

Imagination is the only limit when it comes to cheap, charming DIY feeders to freshen up your habitat for both you and wildlife to enjoy!

How Do You Make a Cheap Bird Feeder

Use basic crafting materials from a dollar store to make a cute feeder in minutes:

You Need

  • Small clay or plastic flower pot
  • Craft/popsicle sticks
  • Glue gun
  • Acrylic paint & paintbrush (optional)


  1. Lay sticks vertically around the inside rim of the pot, evenly spaced
  2. Apply hot glue to affix sticks in place
  3. Paint the pot in stripes, polka dots or other designs if desired
  4. Add birdseed and hang with a hook and string!

Voila – let your creativity run wild to decorate your yard or garden with this budget bird banquet.

What Is a Cheap Bird Feed

Providing inexpensive birdseed allows anyone to set up feeders as an enjoyable hobby. Several budget-friendly seed options exist:

Black Oil Sunflower Seeds
Small sunflower seeds with high fat and protein levels. Cardinals, finches and chickadees can’t resist these yet they’re very affordable per pound.

Tiny, round white millet seeds are like candy to ground-feeding birds like juncos, doves and sparrows. Huge bags are available in the pet section.

Cracked Corn
Flocks of crows, grackles, starlings and pigeons will descend happily on cracked corn. Buy in bulk quantities for mass feedings.

Check stores like agway, local mills and farm supply retailers for best bulk seed prices to keep feeders full without breaking your budget.

What Type of Feeder Do Birds Prefer

Different bird speciesgravitate towardcertain feeder setups, depending on their size and feeding behaviors:

Seed Tubes
Long clear plastic tubesallow small birds like finches, chickadees and nuthatches to grab seeds easily. Convenient perching all around.

Platform & Hopper Feeders
Larger feeders with big mesh floors suit ground birds who lunch in volume – like doves, juncos and sparrows. Cardinals also like platform access.

Suet Feeders
Woodpeckers, nuthatches and wrens cling to tailored suet cages to nibble condensed cake-like suet blocks. Extra tail props assist balance.

Oriole & Hummingbird Feeders
These contain nectar mixes suited to each tiny species’ needs. Hummingbird feeders have red bases and multiple tiny ports. Orioles like orange nectar in open cups.

There exists a perfect style to entice any regional bird favorite – research what might attract yours!

How Do You Make A Quick Bird Feeder

When you want to set up a feeding station super quickly, utilize items already around the house:

What Is An Alternative To Bird Feeders

Skip the store-bought hardware using:

  • A stretched fruit net bag filled with birdseed chunks, tied to a tree branch
  • Scatter seed across a pie tin, lid, or foil pan stapled at edges for stability
  • Poke holes around the side of a cleaned yogurt cup or cottage cheese tub , hang it up
  • Use a skewer to punch holes in a paper cup – slide string through to hang
  • Drive a Peghed nail partway into an old 2X4 scrap, balance across a surface for a instant perch & feed spot

Improvisation provides endless quick fixes for DIY feeders when time or money is short!

FAQ: weatherproof bird feeders

Are plastic or metal feeders better for winter?

Metal feeders are more durable and chew-proof. However, thick, UV-resistant plastic works too if properly sealed.

Should I take down feeders in winter?

With weatherproof feeders, you don’t need to take them down. Properly constructed metal or plastic feeders can be left up year round.

Where should I place winter bird feeders?

Try to place winter feeders under cover and out of the wind for maximum protection from precipitation and drifting snow.

What’s the best weatherproof bird feeder?

Look for metal construction, tight rubber seals, drainage holes, sturdy hardware, and squirrel deterrents. Tube, hopper, and covered window feeders tend to work well.

How do I keep my bird feeder from freezing?

Prevent ice buildup by look for models with insulation, heating elements, or double-layered walls. Waterproofing prevents moisture exposure.

Can you leave bird feeders out in the snow?

Yes, weatherproof feeders designed for winter can be left out continuously, even buried in snow. The seeds will remain protected and accessible.

How do you clean moldy bird feeders?

Use a dilute bleach/water mix of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water. Rinse thoroughly and let air dry fully in sunlight to prevent mold recurrence before refilling.

What keeps squirrels out of bird feeders?

Slippery metal pole mounts, weight-sensitive perches that close feeder access, cage protections that allow bird entry but not squirrels, greasing poles/hanger hooks, and isolated feeder placement away from jumps and clambers routes all deter squirrels.

How does weather affect birds?

Severe cold, heat, rain, snow, ice, wind and even pressure fronts cause challenges finding adequate food and shelter. Providing feeders and roost boxes helps counter weather threats. Customizing options by species prevents exclusions.

What bird feeders keep seed dry the longest?

Covered feeders with drainage systems, hopper feeders that seal out moisture, suspended tubes that prevent groundsplash back, and hanging feeders positioned under roof cover help keep seed dry for greatest duration during wet weather.

How do you hand make bird feeders?

Reused items like cleaned 2-liter bottles/milk jugs, net fruit bags, small baskets/tins/cups fitted with hanging hooks, and hollowed/punctured wood blocks or small logs create homemade feeder vessels. Creativity using recyclables is unlimited!

Why make your own bird feeders?

In addition to saving money using repurposed items destined for the landfill, homemade feeders allow complete customization in shapes, sizes, materials and integration into outdoor decor themes without relying on mass-market versions.

What basic materials do you need to build bird feeders?

Essentials include container vessels; drainage holes; hanger attachments like string, wire, chain or hooks; bird-safe finishing like sanding rough edges; plus creativity and decorative items like paint, markers, stickers to make them your own.

Can I hang bird feeders from trees?

Yes, installing hooks screwed into tree trunks or robust branches is an excellent way to hang feeders at desired visibility levels while keeping them farther from predators. Ensure hooks do not damage trees and monitor wear over time.

How often should you clean bird feeders?

Clean feeders at minimum every two weeks more frequently during wet weather. Wash with soap/water solution, disinfect, rinse thoroughly and let dry completely before refilling. Always wear waterproof gloves when handling.

How do squirrels always get to my bird feeders?

Squirrels are ingeniously persistent! Combine deterrents like feeder placement on poles too smooth to climb, slippery lubricants on hanging hooks, cages too small for squirrels to enter, removing nearby steps squirrels jump from, and use of weight sensitive perches.

Conclusion: weatherproof bird feeders

Providing for backyard birds need not be complicated. A few wise material considerations enable bird feeders to withstand all weather conditions year after year. Taking cue from creative homemade options transforms supplying birdseed into an artful hobby with satisfaction guaranteed by feathered visitors who offer lively company in exchange. Mind the details – like drainage holes facing down, eaves positioned overhead, and metal parts that avoid rusting – and your feeders should serve you faithfully no matter the forecast.

Pay special attention to choosing durable, easy-cleaning materials impervious to the elements. Galvanized steel, powder-coated metals, UV-stabilized plastic, and properly-sealed good wood will thrive outside. Don’t let worries of weather spoil your enjoyment of nurturing neighborhood flocks. A dry shelter or canopy restores access to seed on the soggiest day. With sound preparation and adaptable alternatives using on-hand items as needed, you can indeed keep feeders outside permanently for birds to rely on through deluge or drought!

About the Author: Hudaibia

My name is Hudaibia with the profound passion for our feathered friends. Birds have captivated my heart and mind since childhood. Now I share my avian devotion through my website,