Many people want to feed birds but feel that they don’t have a place for it, particularly if they live in an apartment, high-rise apartment or condominium complex, or other type of common dwelling. I’ve been a resident of both types of communities and they have many benefits. It can seem a bit difficult, though, to consider how to feed your feathered friends.
There are some unique waters to be navigated because of the fact that you’re living close to your neighbors, and you might be many floors up as well. But, take heart.
People living in apartments do not need to be excluded from this rewarding hobby! In fact, apartment dwellers can still enjoy the benefits of attracting birds by using bird feeders that will work very well in small spaces, on balconies or patios, and affixed to railings.
We’ll discuss the best way to go about setting up a feeder (or multiple bird feeding stations) for the local birds, take into consideration the limits of both the location as well as potential rules about bird feeders in the community.
And of course, we’ll recommend the best types of bird feeders for apartments and condos.
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- The Joys of Feeding Birds From Apartments
- Find Out About Community Restrictions First
- Where Do Birds Like to Go for Food? What Attracts Birds?
- What Should You Feed the Birds?
- Best Bird Feeders for Apartments
- How to Maintain Your Bird Feeders in an Apartment or Condo Environment
- Conclusion: Best Bird Feeders for Apartments and Condos
The Joys of Feeding Birds From Apartments
Why would you want to set up a bird feeder on your apartment balcony? That’s a valid question.
In addition to the simple joys of attracting birds and watching them from your home, feeding birds can be particularly beneficial. If properly set up and maintained, a balcony feeder will allow the birds in your community to eat and stay healthy, even in the winter months.
The birds will also be able to find food even when there is a shortage of insects or other natural foods. They will be able to maintain their weight as well as build up their fat reserves for migration and breeding, all because you provide them with suitable food.
You’ll also have the opportunity to observe a wide variety of bird species, as many types of birds will visit your feeder. In fact, you’ll likely see more types of birds than those that live nearby.
This is because feeding stations tend to draw different species from other areas as well as different times of the year.
Find Out About Community Restrictions First
First things first, my friend. Before you dash off to the store and purchase all the cool bird feeder gear, find out what you can, and can’t do, in your building, neighborhood, and/or community.
Many communities do not allow any type of feeders to be placed on the exterior of buildings. There may be restrictions about using hooks, screws, nails, etc. to affix them in place.
Some communities (mine, for instance) will only allow a certain type of bird feeder and food to be used and have restrictions as to where they can be placed.
You might discover that there are restrictions on the use of birdfeeders because of the potential mess they can cause. This is especially true if you are living in a high-rise, multi-story building.
So the first step here is to check with your property manager or management company to find out about these restrictions before placing anything outside.
If there are no rules specifically governing bird feeders and feeding wild birds, make sure that everything you do falls within the general rules of the community, and always be aware of how your efforts to care for the wild birds in your area will impact your neighbors.
Who knows, you might be able to start a community-wide bird feeding movement!
Where Do Birds Like to Go for Food? What Attracts Birds?
It’s very helpful to understand why birds go where they do for food. If you can supply their needs, you’ll attract birds, and they will be more likely to visit your feeding station.
They like bushes and shrubs that give them cover, making them feel safe. They like to hide while they wait to feed.
They are attracted to an environment, so think about the types of flowers, plants, and greenery they would like.
Do you have a patio or balcony that is of a compact nature? That’s a nice way of saying that it’s pretty darn small!
Consider these space-saving options:
- a vertical plant wall
- free standing planter
- flower pots
- potted plants
- window boxes (you might find that the birds use these to nest in, too)
Birds are attracted to water
If you have the space and it doesn’t conflict with any HOA or community restrictions, keep in mind that birds love to bathe, groom, and drink as well as feed.
Having a bird bath on your balcony is a great way to attract more birds. They will come and splash around in it on hot days, or drink from it on cool or freezing days when there’s no water in the ground.
A traditional bird bath can work well if your space can accommodate it. Or, consider a heated type of bird bath, one that can attach to deck railings (they are inexpensive and easy to install), or just a pan of water for them to use.
The sound of water will also attract the birds to your feeding station, so if you can include a bubbler, mister, or dripper, that is another way to entice them to your apartment balcony or patio.
Birds that will feed at different heights
Species such as doves, orioles, tanagers, and finches are comfortable feeding at different heights. If you are considering setting up bird feeders from a balcony, these feathered friends may pay you a visit!
What may keep birds away from your feeder
If you’re serious about creating the best bird feeders for apartments, yours, in particular, keep in mind the things that birds may not like to be around:
- brightly colored moving objects like windsocks or spinners
- wind chimes
- noisy pets
- clutter from things like BBQ grills, bikes, or other items that might be stored on a balcony
What Should You Feed the Birds?
Whether it’s an apartment balcony, a condominium patio, a townhouse garden, or similar, you want to provide food that birds want to eat.
Here are some general suggestions for seed and other types of bird food:
- The most popular bird seed is Black-Oil Sunflower, which draws a range of birds to your feeder. Blue jays, cardinals, chickadees, finches, nuthatches, and sparrows are among the species that like it. Black-oil sunflower seeds are a fantastic start if you’re just beginning to set up a feeding station.
- Seed mixes are popular with novices since they attract a wide range of birds. They can, however, get messy because birds search through rejected seeds and toss them away. A seed blend that contains very little millet, but includes oil sunflower, safflower, and striped sunflower, will attract birds that feed at elevated levels.
- Suet is a cake of animal fat that is high in protein and may be very beneficial to birds, especially during the winter months, when food is scarce. Suet can be a lifeline for many birds in your yard, especially when food is limited. Suet cages are frequently filled with suet plus seeds.
Best Bird Feeders for Apartments
There are a variety of bird feeders to fit your needs, as space and community restrictions may dictate what you can (or can’t) do with the feeders on your porch, balcony, railing, or garden.
This type of feeder is made to attach right on the glass, so it hangs on the outside. It’s a great solution for spaces that have no yard or other outdoor area to place bird feeders.
Strong suction cups adhere to the window and are designed for all types of weather conditions.
Watch the birds as they feed from inside your home!
Nature’s Hangout Window Bird Feeder with Strong Suction Cups
Nature’s Hangout Window Bird Feeder with Strong Suction Cups and Seed Tray is the perfect way to attract birds to your home or office. This bird feeder is constructed from high transparency, see-through acrylic so you can study and appreciate the beauty of local bird species.
The removable tray makes it easy to quickly and easily clean. Simply remove the tray, and discard any debris and old seeds. You can also quickly wipe down the surface with a wet towel to get rid of any dirt or watermarks.
Nature Anywhere Window Bird House Feeder with Sliding Seed Holder & 4 Extra Strong Suction Cups
Window Bird Feeder with sliding seed tray and 4 heavy-duty suction cups. Keeps squirrels out!
The Nature Anywhere Sliding Window Bird Feeder is a wonderful way to enjoy watching birds up close. It can be placed on any window, even the bathroom window (yes, really!). The feeder comes with four heavy-duty suction cups that will keep it secure in place.
No need to worry about it falling down – this bird feeder will stay put! The feeder also features a sliding tray which makes filling and cleaning super easy.
Hanging bird feeders
If you are allowed to place hooks into the building, on the railing, or even on the roofline, hanging bird feeders can be a good option when living in an apartment building.
There are feeders that are attractively designed as well as functional, to provide a pleasant experience for humans and nutrition for the birds.
Twinkle Star Wild Bird Feeder
This hopper style feeder features a classic design that will add an elegant touch to your garden. This bird feeder is made of durable, silver plastic and comes fully assembled and ready to hang. The hexagon shape features an inclined roof that shades birds from the sun and rain. When the seeds are eaten, more seeds will naturally fill the tray.
This bird feeder holds up to 2.15 lb of seeds and has a twist lock cover for easy filling and cleaning. It also includes clear panels so you can easily inspect seed levels without having to open them.
Sand Mine Panorama Bird Feeder
The SAND MINE Panorama feeder is a beautiful gazebo-style bird feeder constructed of heavy-duty plastic for long-lasting use. This attractive bird feeder will attract all types of birds to your backyard with its large capacity, easy-to-clean design, and multiple hanging options. The feeding ports are circular perches that allow birds to feed on all angles.
The Panorama Bird Feeder features an inclined roof that shades birds from the sun and rain while they enjoy their favorite seeds. The clear plastic makes it easy to know when it’s time to refill.
Tube feeders are versatile and easy to fill. They commonly come with a seed catcher to keep seed mess off of your deck or patio, but some prefer not to use this feature. It’s important to know how large these types of feeders are before purchasing.
A hanging tube feeder works well for a small balcony or patio.
Droll Yankees A-6RP Classic Ring Pull Sunflower Seed Bird Feeder, Hanging Tube Feeder
The Droll Yankees A-6RP Classic Ring Pull Sunflower Seed Tube feeder is perfect for feeding a variety of species. The metal ring pull makes it easy to disassemble the feeder for cleaning and filling, while the UV-stabilized polycarbonate tube resists fading and cracking.
This bird feeder holds up to 1 pound of seed and has six feeding ports that accommodate multiple birds at once.
Metal Bird Feeder Tube Hanging Wild Bird Seed Feeder
The Metal Bird Feeder Tube Hanging Wild Bird Seed Feeder is a great way to attract birds to your yard. The feeder has six feeding ports, allowing multiple birds to eat at the same time. This feeder comes with a durable powder-coated finish that will last for years!
You can use this outdoor bird feeder without any tools and move it freely as you like. The seed housing keeps up to 6 cups of food, which means you won’t have to refill it as often as other feeders.
Suet Feeders are a nice way to create feeding stations that can provide sustenance during all weather seasons.
A suet feeder is designed to hold suet cakes, which are small cakes made from beef fat, nuts, and seeds. Suet feeders have a wire mesh cage around them so birds can cling to eat the suet without falling through the openings in the mesh.
More Birds 38129 Stokes Select Cake Suet Buffet Feeder with Metal Roof
The More Birds 38129 Stokes Select Cake Suet Buffet Feeder is a four suet cake feeder designed to hold up to four cakes of suet or bird seed. It has a cage grid design that allows clinging birds easy access to the food, including small seeds, nuts, and berries.
This black powder-coated steel feeder with metal roof will help you attract woodpeckers, nuthatches, chickadees and more during cold months when food is scarce. Great for use with all types of suet cakes or small seed cakes in winter
MEKKAPRO Suet Wild Bird Feeder with Hanging Metal Roofouble Capacity
This is a beautiful bird feeder that can hold 2 suet cakes to attract many species of tree-clinging & perching birds such as nuthatches, chickadees, woodpeckers, etc.
It comes with a roof which protects the suet cake from sunshine and diverts rain and snow.
It has a door closure system that secures the cakes in place while allowing easy access for birds. The cage design allows feeding on all sides and satisfies several birds at once.
Deck Rail Feeders
If your apartment or condo has a deck railing, these bird feeders and combo feeder and spa options could work very well, taking up minimal space, easy to install, and some with a duo function of feeding and bathing.
Urban Deco Bird Feeders Deck Bird Feeder Bird Bath Deck Bowl Spa
The Urban Deco Bird Feeders Deck Bird Feeder is a bird feeder and water bowl in one. It’s the perfect way to attract birds to your yard, garden, or patio. The heavy-duty plastic transparent bowl is easy cleaning and filling. The transparent color enhances the visibility of clear water to attract wild birds.
No worries if bird droppings, dust, or left-overs stick to the garden bird feeder tray and make it look dirty. Just turn the bird feeder tray face down. Wipe it clean with a dry cloth
Tracy Supply Deck Mounted Bird Feeder Tray and Bird Bath
Tracy Supply’s Deck Mounted Bird Feeder Tray and Bird Bath is the perfect gift for the bird lover in your life (that could be you!). This set includes a tray that can be mounted to your deck or patio railing, as well as a bird bath bowl that mounts on the top of the tray. The bowls swivel to allow you to adjust them to your desired position, then lock them into place with a decorative bolt on top.
The feeder dish measures 16.50 x 7.09 inches, while the bird bath bowl sits 3.5 inches off of the rail.
Pole Feeders/Feeder Stands/Shepherd Hooks
If you’re fortunate enough to have a patio or small garden area with your apartment or condo, using a pole type feeder will give a variety of options for birds to come and feed.
They can be easily installed and come with a variety of hooks, from just one hook up to six hooks. Use some of the hooks for bird feeders and others for hanging flower baskets to attract them.
Artigarden Outdoor Shepherd Hooks 60 inch Tall for Bird Feeder (2 pack)
Artigarden’s 60 inch tall bird feeder stand is the best choice for you to hang your bird feeders, and more on. The outside planter hanging stands are made from 3/5 inch width & 2mm thickened heavy duty steel pipe.
The metal stake base design with 5 double-forked base prongs provides more stability than other poles with a couple of prongs. Each plant hanger includes 3 adjustable poles and the height can be adjusted according to your requirements (60″ or 44″), you only tighten or loosen the poles.
Take advantage of the versatility this pair of shepherd hooks give you!
Best Choice Products 6-Hook Bird Feeding Station
The Best Choice Products 6-Hook Bird Feeding Station brings a little nature into your yard. The 80.5 inch tall steel pole features 4 large upper hooks to place each of the included feeding accessories: A wire feeder, peanut feeder, tube feeder, and suet feeder. A food tray and water bowl/bird bath are also included for more feeding and hydration options!
The 5 prong base includes ground stakes that insert deep into the grass for stability even as breezy winds pass by. Simply tighten the wingnuts to each part before staking the pole in the ground.
How to Maintain Your Bird Feeders in an Apartment or Condo Environment
Keeping your feeders and the surrounding environment in tip top shape will benefit the birds that visit you for nourishment, and you’ll enjoy watching them more, too. Here are some tips for maintaining the feeders in an apartment environment:
- Use a no-mess bird seed mix to minimize waste as well as clean up
- Clean your feeders every month with hot water and a mild soap solution. Make sure to rinse all of the soapy residue off, and dry thoroughly for storage.
- If possible, clean the feeders outdoors.
- Check to make sure the birdseed is not damp or moldy before filling your feeders. If seed starts to smell bad after it has been stored, throw away the old seed.
- Hang your feeders out of reach of cats, squirrels and other known bird predators.
- Make sure the suet cakes are small enough for smaller birds to eat.
- Plan to clean up bird droppings regularly. They will accumulate on your railing, deck, or patio. Use a disinfectant solution to kill germs and bacteria that birds will leave behind.
Conclusion: Best Bird Feeders for Apartments and Condos
If you love watching wild birds, but don’t have a yard to devote to them in the city, there are still ways for you to enjoy feeding these beautiful creatures. An apartment or condo dweller can set up and maintain bird feeders by using some of our tips above!
Whether you’re looking for an entertaining hobby that will bring joy into your life or want another way to give back as an animal lover- it doesn’t matter! You deserve this gift too 🙂