Updated at: 03-08-2022 - By: Jane Brody

A yard free of pesky insects can get away with a lower height of 4 feet, but bird feeders need to be hung higher to protect the food from predators.

Hanging bird feeders at a height of less than four feet is not recommended. Increase the height by two feet if you want to deter popular backyard pests like squirrels. Moreover, the additional headroom gives you the option of hanging an ant moat or squirrel baffle to keep pests at bay. Use the pole’s recommended height as a starting point, but hang the feeders from other items in your yard to increase the height.

How High Should A Bird Feeder Be-2

The location of your bird feeders, rather than their height above the ground, will attract the most birds. Make sure they are in the open and not blocked by trees or shrubs.

Common backyard birds will not utilize a feeder if they can’t see it.

Birds may feel more secure at a higher feeder height, thus this factor should be considered.

However, birds that are looking for food lower to the ground may miss feeders if they are hung at too great a height.

A bird feeding station at 4 feet is ideal for hanging bird feeders, but hanging bird feeders in a tree can be done at any height, so long as the feeders are accessible to the birds.

Bird feeders should be hung in trees, as birds often graze between 4 and 8 feet in shrubs, but can also be found on the ground.

Once birds become accustomed to visiting your feeders, they won’t care if they are high or low off the ground.

Consider your individual needs and preferences when deciding how high to hang your bird feeders.

Hummingbird feeders in particular can be placed on a tabletop or hung from the ceiling only a foot off the ground if no pests are present.

Most of you have a fence separating your yard from your neighbor’s, so if you can keep the cats away, you can hang a bird feeder from a low fence post in your yard.

Ultimately, you’ll want to install bird feeders relatively high so that animals can’t reach them and humans walking by don’t bother the birds while they eat.

Hang up to 4 feet

To be more specific, the minimum height for using a bird feeder pole, such as one found at a bird feeding station or a Shepard’s Hook, is four feet.

That’s why it’s recommended to hang bird feeders at least 4 feet off the ground.

The bird feeders will be hung at a height of about 4 feet so that the bottom of the feeder is at chest level when you stand underneath it. This will make it much more convenient for you to reach up and refill the feeder or take it down and clean it in the future.

A minimum height of 4 feet is advised to prevent problems with animals and insects, but if at all possible, you should aim for a height of 6 feet.

When you know for sure that there won’t be any pets or pests around, hang the bird feeder low to the ground.

Otherwise, you’d have to find something tall to stand on or use a mounted bracket.

The recommended height for hanging bird feeders is four feet, as this is the height at which wild birds forage in bushes or the height at which they typically feed in trees.

Low branch must meet minimum

How High Should A Bird Feeder Be

You can still meet the necessary height above the ground by using a tree branch or other similar natural growth in your yard to hang bird feeders.

It’s easy to forget that birds may safely eat from a feeder placed only 4 feet off the ground, especially if there’s danger lurking nearby.

Only if there are no dangerous animals or insects on your land can you use a low down placement for feeders.

If there are no rodents or other pests in the area, you are free to place your bird feeder anywhere you wish.

Bird feeders hung in a tree won’t provide the necessary security in a yard where predatory animals like snakes or pests like bears, squirrels, and raccoons are common.

Even though bird feeders are hung relatively high up, all pests and predators are completely capable of climbing trees and subsequently descend down on bird feeders.

You should think about using a pulley to suspend a bird feeder, as this is more practical than using guttering or a bracket positioned ten or more feet up on the side of your home or outbuilding.

It’s important to pick a pest-free tree and rely on a bird feeder pole to put up deterrents if you intend to place feeders amid tree branches, as this is an area birds regularly frequent in your yard, just like they do in the wild.

Rely on bird feeder pole

When using a pole-style bird feeder, the optimal height for hanging the feeder is merely four feet off the ground.

Due to the fact that most hanging bird feeders are at least a foot in height, most bird feeder poles only go into the ground a short distance (about 4 feet), allowing for the brackets to hang the feeders at a maximum height of 5 feet.

The manufacturers of bird feeders and Shepherd’s Hooks realize that if they made the pole any higher, it would be too high for most people to utilize.

Whereas a shorter pole might be OK for the birds, it wouldn’t be practical for you because you’d have to uncomfortably stoop over or squat.

It’s safe to assume that bird feeders can still be too low, even when using a bird feeder pole, but you don’t want to hang feeders too high if you have trouble reaching them.

Even if you don’t have pests, a bird feeder pole can be utilized to deter squirrels and other backyard nuisances from eating from your feeders.

For the same reason that a bird feeder can be set behind a squirrel baffle, a hummingbird feeder can be hung below an ant moat to discourage ants from using the feeders.

Such deterrents can be easily installed on bird feeder poles, but hanging feeders from a tree branch would leave them vulnerable to animals.

Lower position if NO pests

How High Should A Bird Feeder Be-3

If you’re like me and never have problems with pests trying to get into your bird feeder, by all means use a regular pole to hang your feeder from the ceiling.

Because you probably don’t live in the woods or a rural region, where most bird feeder pests congregate, it’s likely that you’ve been plagued by them.

What you may do then is figure out the best method to hang the feeders down to the ground, taking into account the cats of your neighbors. At this point, you are the only one who can decide where to put the bird feeder because it is still mounted on a pole.

With a bird feeding pole, you won’t have to worry about finding a suitable spot to place your feeders, but without a tree, you won’t be able to move them into the shade or take shelter under them when it rains.

The good news is that bird feeders may be easily used by birds at all times and can be placed in an open, visible area.

Again, bird feeders are best hung, but there are occasions when it’s desirable to attract birds by providing food on the ground, on deck railings, or even on garden furniture.

Bird feeders, such as hummingbird feeders, can be hung at a low height, and they can also be placed on a flat surface in such a way that they are supported to help less competent bird feeder birds.

Higher point if pets are a nuisance

It’s not a bad idea to find a means to place bird feeders higher up in your yard if you’re trying to discourage unwanted pests from eating bird food.

Remember that even if you hang your bird feeders 12 inches off the ground, you will lose height due to the length of the chain, rope, or wire you use to suspend them.

Even worse, if you put up an ant moat above your hummingbird feeder or a squirrel barrier for all of your bird feeders, you may say goodbye to a few more inches of space.

All of which could lead to your bird feeders falling to an unprotected level of ground level over time.

If larger animals like bears or canines are keen on destroying your bird feeders, you can forget about using poles. The eaves or gutters are better options for hanging bird feeders, as opposed to a tree branch where anyone can reach them.

If you put your feeders up high, you may also be able to shield them from rain and intense sunlight.

Even if you hang your bird feeder up 10 feet or more in the yard, cats will still find a way to get to it.


The standard recommended distance from the ground at which to hang bird feeders is at least four feet.

Birds that graze in the wild in shrubs at this height will be able to use your feeders, and a feeder that is 4 feet high will reach your chest, making it easy to clean and maintain the feeders without having to stoop or kneel.

The bottom of the feeder should be 4 feet from the ground, so keep that in mind when deciding how high to hang the feeder.

Although most bird feeders are around a foot in height, you may expect to lose an additional 12-18 inches due to the chain or wire used to suspend them.

To avoid the invasion of common garden pests, bird feeders should be suspended at a height of at least four feet.

The minimum height at which bird feeders should be hung to protect them from squirrels and raccoons is eight feet.

As these devices, such as a squirrel barrier or an ant moat, are put above bird feeders, you will lose even more elevation.

If there are no rodents or other pests in the area, you can place the feeders at a lower height or even on the ground to feed birds that can’t reach hanging feeders.

The safety of the birds at the feeder is paramount, thus it’s important to carefully think about how to move up there.

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