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Meet the best bird feeders for apartments and windows! - Learn about window and camera bird feeders.

Updated: Oct 6, 2023

This article is our flocking review of the ease of using window bird feeders for those without green spaces to hang bird feeders.

A Black-capped Chickadee takes a seed from the window-mounted bird feeder.
One of our favorite window-mounted bird feeders, the ClearView window feeder.

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Window feeders are a relatively new trend in the world of bird feeding. However, they are making bird feeding more available to those without yards, gardens, and other 'traditional' green spaces (though these spaces are not traditional to all). While this trend is fresh, it is becoming rapidly fresher. Window feeders have grown from simple acrylic to possessing two-way mirrors and even app-controlled cameras.


Not enough time to read? Here are our recommendations:

Style

Name

Link

Camera Feeder

Birdfy Lite

Hummingbird Feeder

SweetFeeder

Standard Feeder

ClearView Feeder

The safety of window bird feeders

While no bird feeder can eliminate all threats, window feeders do provide a unique opportunity to minimize the spread of disease, molding of seed, and frequency of window strikes.


The threat of disease exists in all feeders. However, most window feeders do not provide too much space within the feeding area to allow birds to sit on the seeds and spread feces. This can help reduce the spread of salmonella at these feeders. The lack of ports commonly found on tube feeders can also limit the face-to-port contact that hosts and spreads the bacteria, which leads to House Finch eye disease. Well-constructed window feeders are easy to clean, often by dishwasher. If built properly, hot water and a bleach solution should not cause discoloration of the feeder.

 

Use window tape to prevent bird strikes while also enjoying your feeders!

a view of bird feeders through collidescape window tape
 

Bird seed often molds when too much seed is held in a feeder for far too long. Window feeders provide a benefit by not holding too much seed. Additionally, window feeders worth their cost have drains in the seed trays, allowing for drainage when moisture attempts to build up. A combination of small trays and proper drainage can prevent moldy seeds from sickening birds.


Window collisions are a serious problem for birds. When bird feeders are placed between 3 and 30 feet from birds, the risk of feeder-induced window collisions increases. Birds can build up speed when they take flight, and if that flight is in the direction of a window, a bird can collide with the glass causing serious injury or even mortality. Feeders placed directly on windows prevent birds from building up speed if they attempt to escape a predator. While not foolproof, feeders on untreated windows can be a safer feeding solution than those in the danger zone. However, we still recommend fully treating any windows where feeders will be placed on or near.

Do you use window feeders?

  • Yes

  • No


The benefits of window bird feeders

Window feeders can provide an intimate view of birds while also allowing for easy cleaning of all components. These two benefits make window bird feeders a great addition to an existing feeder array or the main theme for those starting the bird feeding hobby.

If you are not a regular birder or birdwatcher, you may not own binoculars. This is not a problem for most, but if your feeders are too far away, you may not get to enjoy all the birds that visit your buffet fully. Window feeders can provide a view unmatched by distant feeders by attaching directly to windows with no viewing obstructions (unless 'dem windows be real dirty).


Cleaning bird feeders is likely the least enjoyed task around this feather-filled activity. While many feeders require multiple steps to clean, most window feeders have a removable tray that can be quickly dumped and, if possible, placed into a dishwasher for quick and easy disinfection. Even if the tray cannot be placed in a dishwasher, a quick scrub and soak will be easily achieved.


The drawbacks of window bird feeders

Every feeder has a negative side. Large platforms allow for more species utilization but can collect bacteria-ridden feces. Tube feeders can prevent large birds and squirrels from quick work to empty all the bird seed but are a major contributor to the spread of conjunctivitis. Window feeders also have their limitations, including their ability to stay attached and which birds can take advantage of their black gold.


The small size of window feeders precludes many species from feeling comfortable using window-mounted bird feeders. Doves, jays, orioles, grosbeaks, large finches, and cardinals may feel uncomfortable using such a small space. Additionally, even those feeders with water in the trays do not provide enough space for birds to bathe. These problems can be compensated for with other feeders and birdbaths to supplement, but if you can only use a window feeder, understand its limited attraction for some species of birds.

Window feeders are usually attached by suction cups. While this is the least invasive method of attaching a feeder to a window or home, it is a very NON-permanent attachment. Large birds, mammals, and weather can all quickly tear the suction-cupped feeders off their perches. We use an electrode gel to help our suction cups adhere better, but large creatures can still undo this adherence. Suction cups are not permanent. This is a major drawback for these feeders.


The best window and apartment bird feeders

We provided some examples scattered throughout this article of some great examples of window feeders. However, these three window-mounted feeders below are some of the best available. Use the links provided to check prices for each of these products.

  1. Birdfy Lite - Camera Feeder

  2. SweetFeeder - Hummingbird Feeder

  3. ClearView Feeder - Standard Feeder


The Birdfy Lite feeder is a fun way to see your feeder even when you aren't home!

A House Finch sits on a window feeder with a camera attached.

Thoughts on Bird Buddy bird feeder

There is growing excitement for Bird Buddy window camera bird feeders. Here at Flocking Around, we have not had the opportunity to test these feeders, though we are hopeful to put them through the rigors of a Wyoming winter soon. When we do have the opportunity to test these feeders, we will make sure to ask questions about safety using a home wifi system.

 

Use sunflower seed for window bird feeders!

Kaytee sunflower seed with a mesh tube feeder
 

Window feeders can be a fulfilling style for those who lack the space for typical bird feeder styles. Window feeders come with limitations, but they also create unique opportunities to enjoy birds at an intimate distance. Folks in apartments or condos or those wanting to spice up their office life should consider trying one of these uniquely designed feeders to attract more birds!


 

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