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Solar Bird Feeders: Everything You Need To Know (Explained)

It’s 6 am and you’re up early, as usual. It’s almost dawn. You sit on the balcony with your coffee, binoculars, and notebook. 

You like to get an early start birdwatching; there’s something about the peace of watching birds in the morning that sets you up for the day.

You have the luxury of watching birds even when it’s still dark. That’s right, you have a solar bird feeder! Sweet, isn’t it?

But what are solar bird feeders and how do they work? Read on to find out.

What are solar bird feeders and how do they work?

Solar bird feeders collect solar energy to power a LED light. They work by converting solar radiation into thermal and electrical energy through photovoltaic cells. 

No electricity is needed because the solar bird feeder harnesses the sun’s energy. Solar bird feeders are a great way to attract birds to your garden. Not only do they provide food for the birds, but they also help to make your garden more attractive. 

Solar bird feeders come in various shapes and sizes, so you can find one that will fit in with your garden design.

Solar bird feeders are also a great way to help the environment. They reduce the need for electricity or batteries, which means that they don’t produce any harmful emissions.

Some people use them as art projects, while others use them as gifts for loved ones who enjoy gardening or watching wildlife. 

There are many benefits of using solar bird feeders. Some of these benefits are:

Beautiful garden decor

Solar bird feeders are beautiful garden decor because they add color and life to your garden. They also help attract birds, which can be fun to watch.

Solar bird feeders are available for birds all day long

Solar bird feeders work by using the sun’s power to power the LED light on the feeder. This means that the birds can access the food all day long without worrying whether or not there is enough sunlight.

Environmental benefits

Solar bird feeders have several environmental benefits. For one, they reduce the need for electricity, which can help save energy. 

They also reduce the amount of waste produced, as there is no need for disposable batteries. 

Additionally, solar bird feeders help promote conservation by attracting birds to your garden.

Great gift idea

Solar bird feeders are a great gift idea because they are always up and running. There is no need to worry about whether or not you remembered to fill the feeder with bird food or if there is a power outage. 

Solar bird feeders also make a beautiful addition to any garden. Additionally, solar bird feeders are easy to use for people of all ages.

Waterproof

Solar birdfeeders are an excellent option for bird enthusiasts because most are waterproof. For those who live in inclement weather, this is a significant help. It ensures that the feeder will continue to function correctly no matter the weather conditions.

Cut down on your electric bill

Solar is a great way to save money on your electricity bill! Solar panels use the sun’s energy, which means that the only thing you need to generate solar power is sunlight.

The drawbacks of using solar bird feeders

Birds can be messy

Solar birdfeeders can create a mess because birds are by nature messy eaters. In addition, the birds can leave droppings and seed shells on the ground.

While this might not seem like a big deal, the mess can become an issue when you’re trying to attract birds with feeders.

Unwanted visitors

Birds feeders are a great way to attract beautiful birds to your backyard, but they can also attract unwanted critters. 

For example, squirrels, raccoons, roaches, and rats can be drawn to the shells and droppings left behind by the birds, leading to an infestation.

Short lifespan of the solar panels

Solar bird feeders have a limited lifespan. Most only last for about 1-3 years. That said, many have a lifetime warranty.

Birdfeeders can spread disease

Bird feeders are a great way to help birds, but they also contribute to the spread of disease.

The Colorado Parks and Wildlife organization states that bird feeders help spread many diseases. This includes salmonellosis, trichomoniasis, pigeon paramyxovirus, avian pox, etc.

Bacteria and other pathogens can be spread through bird feeders when unclean water or food is left out for the birds. Contaminated water can cause serious health problems for the birds and humans who contact them.

How to choose the right solar bird feeder what specs to pay attention to? 

Looking for the perfect bird feeder? Here are the aspects to consider:

Style of feeder

When selecting a bird feeder, choosing the style that will best accommodate the type of birds you hope to attract is vital.

There are three primary styles of feeders: tube, platform, and hopper. Tube feeders are long, cylindrical containers that hold the seed in tightly packed orifices. 

They sit flat on the ground and have perches along their length.

Platform feeders consist of a broad base atop a tray where birds can land and eat safely.

Hopper-style bird feeders are elevated platforms with an enclosed space underneath that holds the seed. The entire container is guarded except a narrow landing strip where the birds feed.

Seeds/feed types

Different types of seeds attract different kinds of birds. So when choosing a feeder, you’ll want to consider the type of bird food that attracts the most birds to your yard.

For example, black oil sunflower seed helps attract cardinals. On the other hand, Nyjer Seed is effective for attracting small finches such as House Finches.

Material

When selecting materials for your birdfeeder, it is essential to choose something safe and durable. 

Sturdy materials, like metal or plastic, are best because they can withstand the weather.

The materials should also be easy to clean so that you can keep them free of dirt and pests.

Make sure that the weight of the material is not too heavy for the branch or hook on which it’s perched.

Size

When selecting a solar birdfeeder, you want to choose a large feeder to accommodate the number of birds you hope to attract. Don’t choose one so large that it becomes difficult to maintain. 

The best way to select the correct size for your birdfeeder is to measure your available space and find a feeder that will fit comfortably in that space. 

Be sure to take into account how high you want the feeder to hang, as well as how close you want it to be to other objects.

Capacity

Large-capacity bird feeders can hold more seed, which means that you won’t have to refill it as often. This is important because it can be time-consuming to fill a bird feeder every day.

It is also essential to select a birdfeeder with a large capacity if you live in an area with many birds. 

A small feeder will quickly become overwhelmed if hungry birds constantly surround it.

Easy to fill

It is important to have an easy bird feeder to fill to save you time and hassle. Most bird feeders with a solar panel will be easy to fill because you can access them easily. 

Solar panels often face out instead of in, making it easy to refill from the top.

Many people choose a tray-style birdfeeder since they eliminate scoops and bags. All you need to do with these trays is refill them with seeds, and they are good to go.

Easy to clean

If you do not clean your bird feeder, the birds will eat from a dirty surface and get sick. 

Cleaning a birdfeeder is very easy and only takes a few minutes. All you need is some warm water, soap, and a brush.

Does it offer protection from squirrels?

Keeping your birdfeeder protected from squirrels is important because they will eat the seed and could potentially damage the feeder. 

Squirrels are very clever animals and can figure out how to get into even the most well-protected feeders.

If you have a squirrel-proof feeder, it will be less likely for the squirrels to eat the seed. However, these pesky animals can breach even squirrel-proof feeders, so it is essential to take other precautions to keep them away.

To keep the pesky squirrels from climbing up your birdfeeder, hang a globe or cone-shaped object below it. This object will act as an impediment, making it difficult to access the food source! 

You can also use grease (Vaseline) on smooth poles to deter climbers.

Where to install your solar birdfeeder?

You might be wondering if the best place to put it is in a tree, on your roof, or mount on a post.

The first thing you need to do when deciding where to install your solar birdfeeder is to consider what kind of birds live in your area. 

If they’re songbirds, placing them high up will help keep them safe from predators like cats and hawks. Songbirds also prefer trees, so putting one near a bush or other dense foliage will give them plenty of cover for protection and food sources nearby – perfect!

Place your solar bird feeder in an open area with exposure to the sun. Birds will feel safe and secure in an open area where they can see predators. 

For best results, no bushes, trees, or other obstructions should surround the feeder.

In the sun, the solar feeder will also fully charge for providing power for as long as possible!

The next thing to consider when choosing a location for your solar birdfeeder is access. Placing your feeders within easy reach of a window will allow you to see the birds up close and personal as they eat! 

How to install your solar birdfeeder

There are a few different mounting methods to install your birdfeeder. In each scenario, installation is simple and takes just a few minutes. 

Here’s how to do it:

Shephard Hooks

First off, you will want to acquire some shepherd hooks. Shepherd hooks are metal loops that have a little circular handle on them, making it easy to hook them onto a pole or railing.

They’re also sturdy and robust, so you don’t have to worry about anything falling off or breaking. 

The best part is that they come in all sizes for any size feeders. From there, you can attach your birdfeeder to a pole or railing.

Hang from a tree limb

If you have a bird feeder, you’ll want to make sure that you hang it in the right spot. The best place to hang a birdfeeder is from a tree limb. Here are some tips on how to do it:

  1. Find a sturdy tree limb that can support the weight of the birdfeeder
  2. Make sure the tree limb is close to the ground so that you can easily reach it
  3. Use a sturdy rope or chain to hang the birdfeeder from the tree limb
  4. Make sure the bird feeder is in a sunny spot where it’s protected from wind

Mounting on top of pole

  1. Find a spot in your yard that gets plenty of sunlight. The solar panel needs at least six hours of direct sunlight per day to work correctly.
  2. Dig a hole about twice the size of the feeder’s base and place the pole in the hole
  3. Attach the solar birdfeeder to the pole and orient the solar panel so it’s facing south.
  4. Fill in the hole around the feeder with soil and pack it down. That’s it! You’re all set and ready to watch the birds gather at your feeder throughout the day!

What types of food can be fed to birds in a solar bird feeder?

Seeds are the most popular type of food for these feeders, but you can place fruits, nuts, and even insects in solar bird feeders. Just make sure that whatever you put in your feeder is small enough so that the birds can eat it without difficulty.

Do solar bird feeders work in the winter, or cloudy days?

Solar bird feeders work all year round, whether it’s sunny or cloudy. They use power-generating solar cells instead of batteries. The solar bird feeder will work on cloudy days, although not as well.

The only time the solar panel would not be efficient is when there are no sun hours for several days in a row (like during winter).

Do solar bird feeders have a battery or need one?

Our research found that solar bird feeders use Nickel Metal Hydride Batteries (NIMH).

The most significant benefit of these batteries is that they are able to store large amounts of electricity at a low cost. In addition, they can recharge and last for years before needing replacement.

Lithium-Ion (Li-ion) batteries, do not offer the same benefit. Not only do these batteries cost more, but they have shorter battery life and can only recharge about 500 times.

How much power does it need or generate?

Our research uncovered that the solar-powered birdfeeders generate enough power to keep the birdfeeder LED lit for 8-10 hours. More specifically, we found these specific power metrics on the birdfeeders we analyzed:

  • Voltage: 1.2V
  • Rated Power: 0.06W

How much do solar birdfeeders cost?

After analyzing over 27 different solar birdfeeders, we determined that the average solar birdfeeder is between $19-$55 on Amazon.

Here’s a comparison between a few models that illustrate the range of bird feeders you can get for this price range.

XDW-GIFTS SOLAR BIRD FEEDEROLIKER Solar Bird Feeder
Size7.8 x 7.8 x 157.5 x 7.5 x 13.1
MaterialGlassMetal
Seed Capacity4 cups of birdseed (according to seller)2lb
Item Weight 4.07 lbs1 lb
Price$52.99$25.99
WaterproofYesYes
Illumination Time8-10 hours8-12 hours