Updated at: 16-08-2022 - By: Jane Brody

It may come as a surprise, but bird feeders are all made to be left outside in the backyard even during heavy rain.

If you want to feed your birds year-round, you’ll need a feeder that can withstand the rain or snow. The rain does not do much to the feeders, just causing the plastic ones to fade, the metal ones to tarnish slightly, and the wooden ones to show some wear. Focus on doing so frequently to ensure the birds’ food supply is always enough.

Rain Proof Bird Feeders

There’s more to it than just saying bird feeders can be put out in the yard without worry, but that’s the expectation.

Wet weather can cause serious problems for bird feeders if they are left out in it for an extended period of time. It can be slowed or stopped entirely by clearing out the feeders twice weekly.

Toss caution to the wind and let the rain soak into the bird feeders, ruining the bird food inside. Just like hummingbird nectar has no influence on rainwater in hummingbird feeders, rainwater has no effect on hummingbird nectar.

But if peanuts, seeds, or suet are left exposed to rainwater, they may rot much more quickly, leading to damage on the inside of the feeder.

This sparrow is undeterred by a little rain as it tries to reach the fat balls within a wreath-style fat ball bird feeder.

To avoid this, it is recommended to clean and refill bird feeders on a regular basis and to replace the food offered to the birds.

Your bird feeder will last longer if you put it in a shady spot, such as under a flowering tree, as long as the birds can still see and get to it.

As an alternative, you can commit to keeping the feeders clean by going outside into the yard in the middle of rainstorms to empty out the accumulated rain water… but this is highly improbable.

Feeders can get wet

You’ll be happy to know that any sort of bird feeder can get wet if left hanging outside, not only the ones you put out.

Bird feeders are constructed in a way that allows them to get wet without being damaged.

While rain is the most common source of damp bird feeders, condensation can also cause problems if it is not regularly wiped out.

The metal feeders are protected from rust, but the plastic ones are designed to withstand rain and other damp conditions.

Similarly, the wood used in bird feeders would deteriorate due to exposure to the elements if it weren’t treated in preservation.

You shouldn’t bring your bird feeders inside when it rains, or even bring them all in when snow is predicted, because they can handle the elements just well.

When it starts to rain, don’t bother bringing in the bird feeders; instead, replace the food to keep the birds from getting sick.

Replace bird food sooner

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Don’t worry so much about the durability of the bird feeders themselves and pay attention to the food within them.

Bird feeders made of plastic, metal, or wood can be expected to last for years with good maintenance (such as frequent cleaning) but the bird food itself is likely to cause the most trouble.

Not only would letting the bird food decay cause harm to the feeder’s interior, but damp weather might speed up the process.

Even while bird feeders can be left out in the rain, persistent rainfall can hasten the germination of seeds, especially in the presence of high humidity.

Depending on how many birds you have, you may need to replenish this food supply as often as three times per week.

The bird seed will spoil much faster in hot and humid weather than in damp weather.

There’s not much you can do to protect bird feeders from rain, but putting them under a flowering tree might help.

Effects of wet weather

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Damage to feeders is inevitable if you continue feeding birds in damp weather using hanging bird feeders, a platform feeder, or any other method.

Because nothing lasts forever, even an inexpensive and easy to create bird feeder won’t be able to withstand the elements for very long.

While bird feeders do lose part of their durability over time, the color is the only noticeable area that fades the longer they are left outdoors.

Keeping bird feeders outside in damp weather has this terrible side effect, which is exacerbated by the UV radiation.

Bird feeders, whether constructed of plastic or metal, will gradually lose their vibrant hue over time.

Wooden bird feeders, likewise, would need to be treated annually to replenish the conserve that would inevitably evaporate if left out in the yard for any length of time.

Your bird feeders should still be left out in the backyard as usual, rain or shine, as birds will still want to eat from them.

A bird feeder’s color can be altered by damp weather, albeit the degree of alteration will vary depending on the material used to create the feeder. Wooden feeders require more maintenance and upkeep and won’t last nearly as long as plastic ones.

Although rain may temporarily restore the appearance of your red plastic hummingbird feeder, it will eventually deteriorate to the point where only the tiniest of hummingbirds will be able to utilize it.


Bird feeders of all kinds should be placed out year-round, though peanut, seed, and suet feeders will attract more birds to your yard than hummingbird feeders will.

A rainstorm should have little to no discernible effect on regular bird feeders designed to store nuts, seeds, suet, or any of the other common bird food.

Plastic parts are extremely weather- and heat-resistant; the worst that can happen to them is that they fade with time.

The clear plastic bottle holding the nectar in a hummingbird feeder with a plastic base is more likely to become cloudy over time.

People typically don’t keep bird feeders for very long before replacing them with something new.

However, I will say that you should focus your efforts on keeping the bird food as dry as possible within the feeders, so it doesn’t spoil so soon.

Placing accessible bird feeders under the eaves or in the shelter of a tree can help, even if this may seem like an impossible to most of you. The existing feeders will be protected from the elements, and you won’t have to worry about direct sunlight.

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