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Tube Feeders for Birds

Tube Bird Feeders

Tube feeders are popular and widely used. They are available in different materials and in different colors.

Tube feeders are produced in two different styles.

  • Finch feeders: Feeding ports are designed for dispensing the small Nyjer® seeds popular with goldfinches and Pine Siskins.
  • Seed feeders: Feeding ports are designed for dispensing sunflower or mixed seed.

Look for these features in selecting a tube feeder:

  • Removable bottom for easy cleaning
  • Locking mechanism for the top to prevent access by squirrels
  • Metal tops and bottoms
  • UV stabilized polycarbonate tube
  • Threaded base for pole mounting or the addition of a seed tray
  • Seed baffle at bottom of tube to keep all seed within reach
tube feeder

Some tube feeders are available inside a metal cage. The cage stops squirrels and larger, less desirable bird species from reaching the seed.

What you should know…

  • Tube feeders made of plastic are less expensive than those with metal parts but do not last as long.
  • Squirrels will chew through plastic feeders to reach the seed.
  • Some tube feeders use plastic tubes that are not UV stabilized. They will tend to crack after exposure to sunlight.
  • Seed left for long periods at the bottom of a feeder can become moldy. Be sure to circulate the seeds and keep the feeder clean.


See more feeder types:

  • Dome feeders – Dome feeders are useful for protecting birdseed from rain and snow. They are typically used by smaller birds, such as finches and chickadees, who can cling to the sides of the feeder.
  • Hopper feeders – These feeders are useful for holding larger quantities of bird seed, and they can be used by a variety of bird species, including jays, cardinals, and grosbeaks.
  • Platform feeders – Platform feeders are useful for holding a variety of bird food, including seeds, fruit, and suet. They are typically used by ground-feeding birds, such as sparrows and doves, as well as larger birds, such as jays and cardinals.
  • Peanut feeders: Peanut feeders are useful for holding peanuts and other nut-based bird food, and they are typically used by birds such as woodpeckers, jays, and nuthatches.
  • Suet feeders – Suet feeders hold suet cakes, which are high-energy food sources that are particularly attractive to woodpeckers, nuthatches, and chickadees.
  • Window-mounted feeders – Window-mounted feeders are useful for people who wish to get a closer view of the birds or just don’t have enough space.
  • Bird feeders with a camera – Bird feeders with cameras are new in the birdwatching scene, but these feeders allow you to easily identify all the different birds that visit your feeder.

About the Author

Sam Crowe

Sam is the founder of He has been birding for over 30 years and has a world list of over 2000 species. He has served as treasurer of the Texas Ornithological Society, Sanctuary Chair of Dallas Audubon, Editor of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's "All About Birds" web site and as a contributing editor for Birding Business magazine. Many of his photographs and videos can be found on the site.

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