Window Bird Feeder FAQ
Why would I want to use a window feeder?
Window feeders are an excellent way to view the birds in your backyard up close and are often more convenient than other types of feeders. Window Feeders are ideal for bird lovers in apartment buildings, individuals who have limited access to the outdoors, or those who simply enjoy seeing the birds up close.
What type of window feeder do I need?
There are two types of window feeders: those attached to a window and those placed inside a windowsill. Feeders attached to a window are almost always attached to the glass via suction cups, but may be attached with Velcro. They are generally smaller than windowsill feeders and will typically fit any size or type of window. Other benefits of using "on-window" feeders include the option of using multiple feeders on a given window and increased squirrel resistance. Squirrels are usually unable to reach an "on-window" feeder.
Some windowsill feeders, called solarium feeders, protrude into the house through an open window; other windowsill feeders are secured outside a closed window. A solarium feeder rests in the windowsill and will ordinarily have adjustable side pieces that extend to the sides of the windowsill, closing off the open space much like the sides of a window air conditioner. The feeder is then secured by closing the window on top of it. Some windowsill feeders are secured on the outside of a window by a tension pole (similar to a shower curtain rod). This type of feeder allows the window to be completely closed. Windowsill feeders often have large seed tray areas that will accommodate a larger number of birds and hold a much greater seed capacity than their "on-window" counterparts. Other distinguishing characteristics may include one-way mirrors that allow you to see the birds while they cannot see you, and access to the seed tray from inside your house.
When considering a window feeder, it is important to consider whether or not a solarium feeder is right for you. Some individuals are uncomfortable with the fact that solarium feeders require that a window be open at all times. This may conflict with some alarm systems, may raise home security concerns, or may be inconvenient during the winter months.
What size window feeder do I need?
The size of the window feeder that you need depends on how many birds you would like to have feed at one time and how frequently you will be able to refill the feeder. Most window feeders that are attached to a window will accommodate a small number of birds feeding at one time and have a capacity of as little as 1-2 cups. Larger windowsill feeders will accommodate a larger number of birds and will normally hold one or more quarts of seed. If your birds empty a feeder in 3 days or less, you may either want to use a larger windowsill feeder or add one or more "on-window" feeders.
Which window feeder will work with my windows?
Always check the dimensions of a window feeder before purchasing it to be sure that it will be compatible with your specific conditions. Most windowsill feeders are compatible with a specific range of windowsill sizes and could possibly require the window to close on top of it for secure placement. Window feeders that are attached to a window have more flexible mounting options and are compatible with almost any window. Access to the outside of the feeder is necessary for cleaning and filling "on-window" feeders and some windowsill feeders. Some windows, such as casement windows, will require a specially designed feeder. If in doubt as to which feeder will work with your window, find out the dimensions of your window and call for recommendations.
Where should I place my window feeder?
After finding a window feeder that is compatible with your windows or windowsills, place the feeder in a window that faces an area that is attractive to the birds, is easily viewed from inside the house, and is easily filled either from inside or outside of the house. If the appearance of a solarium window feeder raises a concern from an aesthetics standpoint, you may wish to place it in a window facing a backyard or in a window on a less conspicuous side of the house.
Will the suction cups actually hold my feeder in place?
Some people question the long term stability of suction cups. If properly placed, suction cups should hold your window feeder indefinitely. When mounting your feeder, ensure that both the window and the inside of the suction cups are clean by rinsing them with warm water. Coating the inside of the suction cup(s) with a small amount petroleum jelly or cooking oil will further enhance the seal. After fixing the suction cups to a window, it may be necessary to squeeze out air bubbles by pressing your thumb from the center toward the outside; this should guarantee a clean, firm seal between the window and the suction cups.
When should I place my window feeder?
Window feeders may be placed during any time of the year; however, some solarium feeders may be inconvenient for individuals living in areas with colder winters.
Can I use a solarium feeder in the winter?
Solarium feeders may be inconvenient for individuals living in areas with colder winters. Remember that these feeders require a window to be open, which may result in higher heating costs during the winter months. If this is a concern, it may be necessary to remove the feeder and replace it with a different type of window feeder during the winter months.