Updated at: 06-06-2023 - By: Jane Brody

While it’s easy to overlook the need for a ground feeder in favor of hanging bird feeders, it’s important to remember that not all birds browse at the same height.

Birds can be fed from a ground feeder, which is a metal or plastic dish or tray designed to rest on, or close to, the ground. Since some species of wild birds lack the necessary adaptations to use hanging bird feeders, those that prefer to feed on the ground are the most likely to frequent a feeder placed on the ground.

Ground Feeder For Birds

For this reason, it’s best to use a ground feeder exclusively for ground-feeding birds in your yard, as other types of birds won’t be able to get the seeds or mealworms you’ve put out until they’re on the ground.

Wild bird food can be scattered on the ground with amazing results, but you can keep things neat by using a ground bird feeder designed specifically for this purpose.

To prevent the food from becoming flooded, ground bird feeders have a drainage system.

To be clear, if you decide to use a ground feeder, you should always do so in conjunction with feeders placed from above, as several bird species are both ground feeders and feed off the ground within trees or foliage in the wild.

While ground feeders for nuts and seeds are more convenient to maintain than mesh or transparent tube feeders, their contents are more susceptible to spoilage due to the ground’s harsh conditions.

Sparrows, who are both ground feeders and bird feeder birds, frequent this wooden feeder filled with a seed mixture.

Ground feeders for birds are easier to maintain, but they require more frequent cleaning and maintenance.

Another place where a ground feeder can be useful is in preventing damage to hanging feeders from large birds or squirrels. A ground feeder placed far from your collection of hanging bird feeders can prevent these unwanted visitors.

If sparrows or blackbirds are found to be driving away other species, a ground feeder can be installed up below to attract them.

A ground bird feeder need not be placed on the ground at all; it can instead be placed on a wall, shed roof, or even deck railings if doing so will keep the birds from falling to their deaths.

Bird feeder made to sit on ground

A ground bird feeder, also known as a ground feeder, is only a tray or bowl placed on the ground of your yard to attract birds.

This will be the first step in attracting popular backyard ground feeding birds that either won’t or can’t perch on a hanging style bird feeder. This is because some bird species only eat from the ground within trees while they’re in the wild.

The ground feeder for birds can be pushed into a part of the yard that is frequently occupied by birds, or it can be placed underneath the other bird feeders that are typically hanging from a bird feeder pole.

The bottom of ground-level bird feeders will ultimately become stained if they are placed on a lawn or turf, therefore it is best to place them on gravel or concrete instead.

Birds of all sizes will appreciate the easy access to food provided by ground feeders, but you may also attract them to your yard by scattering seeds on the ground.

Common ground-feeding birds can be attracted to a ground feeder, while more timid species can be kept from being frightened away from hanging feeders by more bold birds, such as Northern Cardinals or Blue Jays.

Can be up to 6 inches high

Ground Feeder For Birds-1

Even though you should have a ground bird feeder in your yard if you regularly get typical ground feeding birds, you might be surprised to learn that it isn’t actually at ground level.

As a matter of fact, the bowl or dish designed to contain various types of bird feed will likely be elevated by at least 6 inches off the floor.

Elevation is essential for ground feeders because it provides some insulation from the wet and, in extreme cases, snowy ground.

To add, being up high will shield you from any precipitation that might splash back up from the earth.

However, if you have a rat or rodent problem, you should not use a ground feeder to attract birds because it will only attract rats and rodents.

You should only use a ground feeder, one that is actually placed on the concrete, turf, or lawn, if you are very certain that there will be no problems with pests, such as pets like dogs who may become ill from eating the suddenly more accessible wild bird food.

One technique to prevent pests from eating the bird seed is to use a ground feeder that is elevated off the ground on four legs.

Those used on the ground will include a mesh dish or tray to catch the rain as it falls. Assume the bird feeder is a bird bath if it is built into the ground and does not have any drainage holes.

Similarly, a ground bird bath placed close to a ground feeder will be much appreciated by birds that mostly dine on the ground.

Similar to ground bird bath

Like bird baths, ground feeders are designed to entice avian species that like to forage on the ground, as these birds are the only ones who consistently use such low-lying locations as their primary source of food and drink.

It’s not hard to mistake a ground feeder for a bird bath if you don’t pay close attention.

Keep in mind that if you pile bird food in a dish or tray, it must have drainage otherwise the food will rot if it gets wet.

It’s usually a full mesh wire tray, although sometimes manufacturers will create what looks like a plastic bowl without any holes by including tiny, hardly perceptible holes at the bottom.

A bird bath’s purpose is to hold water, hence it won’t have any perforations or other drainage mechanisms.

Avoid having your ground feeder sit in direct sunlight as much as possible during the warmer months by placing it in a shady area. Places where water in a bird bath would evaporate quickly if exposed to sunlight.

To a large extent, a ground bird feeder will either be built of plastic-coated wiring or solid metal with a mesh tray. Bird baths for the ground are unusual in that they must be made entirely of stone or plastic and must not have any drainage holes at all.

Serves ground feeding birds

Ground Feeder For Birds-2

A ground feeder is a great technique to attract ground-feeding birds like blue jays, cardinals, bluebirds, and robins.

Don’t limit yourself to solely using ground feeders, because some birds will always find a way to swarm your feeders if they’re in a bind or just plain greedy.

A ground bird feeder can attract larger birds, such as grackles and crows, who would otherwise steal seed from a feeder suspended from a tree branch or a bird feeder pole.

Feed ground-dwelling birds in a ground feeder with their preferred seed blend, nuts, or suet; dried or live mealworms are a particular favorite because they resemble the insects that these birds forage for in the wild.

The ground bird feeder you use to provide a steady supply of food for the birds that visit your yard can be relocated to a more convenient location, allowing you to enjoy the birds while you watch them eat.


You’ve probably heard of, or even seen, a bird feeder, which is a container for food such as seeds or nuts that is hung from a pole bracket or a tree branch, right? You might think of a ground feeder for wild birds as a dish that is placed on the ground in order to provide food for the birds.

Bird feeders on the ground can be built of metal, plastic, or wood, but all of them will have some sort of drainage system to keep the feeder from getting flooded.

Backyard birders who want to attract more ground-feeding birds may give consideration to installing a bird bath on the ground.

The placement of a ground bird feeder is just as important as that of a hanging feeder; this may involve squeezing the feeder into existing vegetation.

When it comes to feeding birds, ground feeders aren’t quite like dishes you’d see on the ground. Instead, they’re typically elevated above the ground so the food isn’t ruined by splash back.

Use a ground feeder to attract birds that won’t use a feeder perched on a tree or pole, or that are simply unfamiliar with such a setup. It’s true that certain species of birds have adapted to feeding from small, confined feeders, but others have not.

Here is where a cheap and easily accessible ground bird feeder tray or dish might provide food for individuals that otherwise would go hungry.

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