Hanging a bird feeder requires some ingenuity and creativity on the part of the hanger, but a length of guttering provides a foolproof method.
To safely suspend bird feeders from the gutter of a house or shed, the gutter must be in good shape and constructed of plastic. However, a joint or bracket is a more secure option for hanging. In a similar vein, if the guttering in issue is metal, you can hang freely.
Guttering is a secure location, and it also happens to be one of the more creative places to hang a bird feeder.
Unless it’s a fresh new construction, gutters have probably been in place for decades. In this situation, plastic gutters might be an option.
But only if it’s a low-rise building with no upper stories that require a ladder to reach the roof.
It’s possible that your home isn’t the best option, in which case you can utilize a brick wall shed in your backyard.
Buildings that are easy to access from the ground, such as those that require only a step or a stretch to switch the feeder for cleaning or restocking, are preferable.
It’s a brilliant idea to hang several wild bird feeders from the guttering to provide food for local birds, but this should only be done in a secure setting.
Check the strength of your gutter to check whether a feeder will fall on it if it is full with tons of heavy feed or if it is a particularly robust feeder.
Safe if secure, tough guttering
The most frequent, and hence most breakable, place to hang a bird feeder is from typical “made in plastic guttering.”
Hanging a feeder from aluminum or steel guttering poses less of a risk.
However, if it were built of plastic, there would be a much higher chance of it collapsing.
Since nothing has been updated or changed in the structure since it was built many years ago, it is likely dangerously close to collapsing under its own weight.
Climb a ladder and give the gutter a tug to make sure it’s secure where you plan to attach it.
Hanging a bird feeder from guttering should never be done in the gutter’s center; instead, it should be done adjacent to a union brocket or really over a bracket.
These sections are the most durable on any guttering because they employ the thickest material and the brocket or bracket is typically made of a more durable material, like metal.
No fixing to brittle gutter
Guttering that is too brittle to keep water flowing freely is of little use for anything else.
Hanging what may be a very heavy bird feeder from it could put a strain on the gutter’s ability to support the weight.
To put it simply, fragile plastic gutters are the root of all evil when it comes to plastic guttering.
If you don’t look closely, you might not notice it for years, but if you touch it or try to hang something from it, the guttering will break or the item you’re hanging will fall.
Your feeder should be placed only after careful consideration of the best location along the guttering you plan to use.
Not an issue at the moment, but what seems OK today may collapse under your feet tomorrow.
Even if the guttering doesn’t collapse at first, the feeder could topple over under the weight of the birds (who are actually rather light).
Birds can get hurt, and buildings and people below them could be in danger.
Hang off low fixed guttering
The best place to hang a bird feeder is somewhere convenient for you to access, but yet high enough to satisfy the birds.
Therefore, I suggest suspending a bird feeder from the guttering surrounding the low brick or wooden shed instead of the guttering on the main roof of the home.
Hanging a bird feeder from a two-story building is a huge no-no; only do so from a single-story home, such as a bungalow or cottage.
To hang a feeder on the gutter of a shed is convenient since it allows you to reach up and grab it, but it also allows you to change the feeder to a different, and hopefully more fruitful, location as time goes on.
While protecting the birds is always your top consideration when hanging a feeder, the cats in the neighborhood will inevitably find their way to the area.
For this reason, I insist that you only choose a backyard shed or other facility where cats have no interest in climbing to the roof.
Preying on birds while they are ensnared in their feeding frenzy is a perfect opportunity for cats to exercise their hunting skills.
Use light-weight feeder only
It goes without saying that you shouldn’t hang your bird feeders from a fragile plastic gutter or one that’s past its prime.
It’s not just the weight of the feeders themselves, but also the fact that they’re dangling from the guttering, that can cause damage.
Only use large, heavy bird feeders made specifically for metal guttering if you intend to fill them to the brim.
Don’t overcrowd large bird feeders with too many seeds, and fill smaller feeders about halfway with peanuts or other snacks.
Since the feeder’s weight is dependent on the substance it’s manufactured from, metal feeders are out.
However, because of the size constraints, it’s probably better to stay away from utilizing elaborate lantern bird feeders or hefty made-in-wood hanging platform feeders, both of which would be a pain to hang.
Make careful to leave some distance between each feeder if you plan to utilize several of them on the gutter at once.
Feeder requires clearing
Guttering is installed under the overhang of slanted roofs to collect rainwater as it slides off the edge of the roof.
You can’t put a feeder on guttering if the roof overhang is too large.
Basically, any space between a bird feeder and a neighboring wall or fence post needs to be cleared out if the feeder is to hang safely.
In this example, the bird feeder could crash into the neighboring structure if there was even a slight breeze or if the birds were causing it to sway and spin.
Bird feeders that are long and slender, like those made of mesh or suet cages, won’t be a problem, but those that are large and round, like lanterns or hoppers or wreaths, might bang up against the wall.
The problem generally won’t arise for most people because guttering is typically placed far away, but if it does, hanging a feeder using the hook on its end can provide some much-needed space.
Hanging bird feeders from metal guttering is fine, but doing so from a plastic gutter, such as PVC, necessitates a closer study to determine the gutter’s durability.
Poor quality guttering will not support a heavy bird feeder, and the moment the birds land to feed might spell disaster.
If you want to hang a bird feeder from plastic guttering, you can do so by hooking the hanger over the union brocket, which is used to extend guttering, or the fascia bracket, which is used to secure the gutter to the house or structure.
To further ensure the feeder’s safety, I advise hanging it as close to the end as feasible, or if that is not possible, in the angled guttering region, which is typically more robust.
Do not overfill a large bird feeder; instead, use a compact, lightweight feeder if at all possible.
If there isn’t enough space for the bird feeder to swing freely in the wind or from the weight of the birds, it will inevitably crash into a neighboring wall.