Why You Shouldn't Hang A Bird Feeder Underneath A Strong Tree Branch

Inviting local wildlife into your yard can be one of the prime benefits of having and enjoying outdoor living spaces. Birds, in particular, will return year after year to areas they enjoy exploring and feel safe eating and drinking from. This means where you hang your bird feeder and place other related things like birdbaths, birdhouses, and perches can play a huge role in how welcoming the critters will find your yard. Bad placement can result in birds avoiding the spots you meant to draw them to. 

While birdfeeders are often best placed among the shelter of branches and hanging from a tree, you may be tempted to choose the largest and sturdiest branch as a place to hang your feeder. A thicker tree branch above, however, can present problems with both predators and sneaky, opportunistic feeders. These factors can both endanger and deter birds from your feeding areas.

Where not to place a feeder

Birds typically like to dine in the safety of sheltered areas, but too much wooded material around a feeder can result in problems, specifically if they feel their sightlines are blocked or predators may be able to target the birdfeeder as an attack zone. Large branches can support the weight of creatures like cats, who when hunting, can lie in wait to pounce while birds might be focusing their attention on other things. As such, birds will see the area as a vulnerability and avoid it.

Large, thicker branches are also a chance for other animals, like squirrels, to easily invade your feeder and eat up all the seed faster than you can put it in. Squirrels can often outmaneuver even the most stalwart squirrel deterrents. If you make it easy for them, they will readily take advantage, Their presence may also deter birds who will be bullied away from the feeder by the larger creatures.

How to properly hang your birdfeeder

To attract birds to your garden or yard, many bird lovers advise placing a bird feeder in a sheltered but largely open area where the birds can feel secure and safe while eating and resting on branches as they wait their turn. A feeder hanging from more slender branches that will not support any creatures but birds offers a much safer area. You may also want to place it a good distance from the trunk for similar reasons. The open ground below is also ideal since the birds will have an easy way to spot potential threats or predators.

Another great approach is to hang the feeder from a metal pole beneath a shelter of trees, which will help deter unwelcome visitors who will find it harder to climb the pole (especially if you use a blocker.) Feeders on wooden posts or fences can also be avoided by birds as an unsafe spot since these are easier to climb for cats and squirrels.