Updated at: 10-08-2022 - By: Jane Brody

Bird feeders are typically hung from a bracket or a tree, but you can also choose to place them on a pole or other elevated surface in your yard.

If you want to install a bird feeder in your backyard, you can put it wherever you like, but remember that the farther it is from the ground, the better. The optimal height for a bird feeder is somewhere out of your reach but not too high for the birds. Feeders should be easily accessible at all times for cleaning and replacing stale food.

How High Should Bird Feeders Be Off The Ground

In case you didn’t know, the same species of wild birds that visit our backyards also frequently forage among trees, high above the earth.

It’s not out of the ordinary to put out food for wild birds at a prominent location in the yard, as mature trees can reach heights of 30 feet or more in the wild, where the birds graze.

You may find this frustrating since you will quickly learn that the feeders require constant attention. As a result, people tend to forget about places that are too far away, while a lower point in the air makes more sense.

Predators, pets, pests, and people are the “four P’s” that can be avoided if bird feeders are hung high enough.

Although birds can be frightened away every time you step foot in the yard, it is possible to view them still feeding if the site is sufficiently elevated.

The only way to see birds using your feeders is to go outside, as they are located at higher spots in the yard and are not at eye level.

Understand that some bird species can only feed at lower altitudes, so placing feeders in a high place may limit the kind of birds that use your feeders.

While most people can successfully use a bird feeding station or wall bracket placed 4–8 feet off the ground, placing them 20–30 feet off the ground is more in line with where birds feed in the nature, but can cause major problems, such as making the feeders inaccessible.

Higher up the better

One may argue that a bird feeder is more effective the higher up it is placed. Because then the birds can eat without fear of being attacked by animals on the ground.

However, if you want to attract birds to your yard, you’ll need to find a way to hang the feeder from a tree or other high perch.

Many of you could only use a bird feeder that was no more than 5 or 6 feet off the ground.

This is the only scenario in which a bird feeder might be too high off the ground; yet, some individuals would interpret the usage of a tree limb as a reference to them.

If you’re only five feet off the ground, it doesn’t matter how high up in a tree you hang your bird feeder; in fact, you’re likely to attract just as many birds by placing the feeder closer to the ground.

Birds in the wild often perch in the branches of trees to eat insects, bark, and buds, so it makes sense that feeders hung at a similar height would attract the same species.

In the backyard, you’ll see birds using a feeder, so there’s no need for homeowners to set up anything similar.

Too low is a problem

How High Should Bird Feeders Be Off The Ground-2

While it’s true that bird feeders can be hung too high, it’s equally important to keep in mind that feeders can be hung too low, giving pests easy access to the food meant for birds.

Most individuals don’t have the space for a bird feeder that’s too low, and even if they have, they likely won’t use it.

Hanging feeders require a clutter-free area all around and below them.

The reason for this is that the birds will need area to stretch their wings when they land on the feeder, or to quickly take off if they are startled.

The concern with a bird feeder touching the plants is less about having enough space to move under the feeder and more about the feeder itself being entangled in the plants.

Yard vegetation should never come into direct contact with the feed inside the feeder, since this can hasten the feed’s spoilage.

All things considered, it’s clear that hanging bird feeders from a greater height is preferable to placing them at a lower level, where they can cause more problems.

No danger of birds falling

Feeders for birds may be too high for you to reach, yet birds are unlikely to avoid this perch because of your height.

A more pressing concern is whether or not birds can safely inhabit this altitude.

If you’re having problems with the feeders because they’re dangling from an insecure bracket or a tree branch, keep in mind that the branch or bracket will eventually break and the feeders will fall to the ground.

For the most part, birds won’t have to worry about this when they’re feeding since they’ll just take off and be safe.

Why put your backyard birds at risk of harm when it may be easily avoided by placing the feeder on the ground?

When you hang a feeder high above the ground, it may be inconvenient for you, but it’s not that much of an issue for birds that can fly; therefore, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll ever see a bird hit the ground because it fell from its feeder.

Feeders within reach

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When placing a bird feeder in the yard, most people forget that although the feeder will be easily accessible to the birds, it will be out of reach for them.

Do you feel like you have sufficient access to the area to hang up the new bird feeders?

The reason for this is that you will need to clean out the feeder and replace the spoiled food twice or thrice a week. Putting the feeder in an unreachable location would be a waste of time and money.

If people have trouble getting to the feeders, for whatever reason, it’s not uncommon for them to give up trying.

Therefore, ensure that the hanging bird feeders, or wherever you store food for the local wildlife in your yard, is always within easy access.

An additional reason why this is so important is that being up high usually means being out of sight.

Now picture a bird feeder hung up to ten feet above the ground, making it necessary to leave the home in order to observe the birds at eye level.

Height off ground summary

A bird feeder that is too high may be inconvenient for you to fill, but not for the birds.

The bird feeders you have hung up on a high point need to be within easy reach so that you may clean and refill them at least twice a week.

Similarly, if you put a bird feeder too far above ground level, you won’t be able to enjoy backyard birding from inside your home. To watch the birds at the feeders, you’d have to go outside because it’s impossible to view skyward from inside.

Wild birds may feel more secure in a feeder placed high in the air.

Birds are less likely to be disturbed by pests or even pets if they are perched higher up. Furthermore, pests can be predators, so positioning yourself high up will deter them.

A bird feeder placed too high off the ground poses no danger to the birds, but an unreasonably high feeder can lead to an injury from a slip and fall.

While bird feeders can be hung at any height you see fit—which could be anywhere above the ground—those that are suspended lower present a greater risk of being damaged by pests, predators, and pets.

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