Bird Barn logo
Bird feeder hanging off bracket on wooden garden shed

How HIGH should bird feeders be off the ground

When hanging up classic bird feeders off the ground, the higher up the better as wild birds are out of harms way.

How high should bird feeders be off the ground would be 4 to 6 feet. Clearing counts only from tip of bird feeder to ground - not the height of the bracket or branch its intended to be hung off. You need to allow space for longer bird feeders, where you end up unknowingly reduce the clearing more.

Get that into your head, if you can make sure the hanging bird feeders are no less than 4 to 6 feet off the ground, minimum - you are in safe hands.

To positioning a hanging bird feeder below this clearing can cause a lot of trouble.

You see wild bird feeders that are designed to be hung off a bracket offers a safe way for wild birds to feed - as its possible for them to fly away with every little disturbance.

As its hanging high up they can view their surroundings, so know where there is trouble.

If wild birds are feeding too low to the ground, their view is obstructed - especially if feeders sink into long grass or weeds.

Once the bird feeder is hanging, only then can you measure the clearing from the bottom of the feeder to the ground.

Four FEET minimum

To hang up classic hanging bird feeders of any kind must not drop below its bracket or branch, less than 4 feet.

Whole point of a hanging bird feeder is its up high and out of the way. To shorten its hanging height will completely defeat this purpose.

Safety is paramount with feeders that contain feed, as it can attract other animals.

So if its within reach of squirrels you'd end up with a squirrel problem; it you are in a rat or mice problem area - then you'd basically be inviting them to come to your garden.

More importantly, the peanuts, seeds and fat balls hung up in bird feeders are not safe for pets - so for the feeder to be hanging not far off the ground, could be within reach of dogs or cats.

Only hang up a bird feeder off the ground that is four feet up, but much higher is ideal

Allow for large bird feeders

Now that could only refer to the shorter bird feeders mind you, so wherever you decide to hang - how high it is off the ground would possibly not be an issue.

However, if you wish to use heavy-duty bird feeders, the kind that are up to three times as long - now this is a problem.

Now the clearing from the tip of the bird feeder to the ground below it has dramatically been reduced, to a height that is not safe.

Larger bird feeders that are one to two feet long can be troublesome, so you must hang it on the highest bracket or branch available to you.

If you intend to hang it off a bird feeder bracket on the wall, then it might not be such an issue if you simply re-mount the bracket higher up.

Accidentally reducing hang clearing

Of course reducing the height of the bird feeder to the ground would be completely accidental in most cases.

And while it may go unnoticed in most cases, you may never realise it until something major happens.

To maintain a four feet clearing is difficult when the bracket it hangs off is low down, but to notice this issue early can save you a lot of bother later on.

Not only can you reduce the hang clearing from the bird feeder bottom to the ground, but it can get much shorter if using ingenious places to hang up the bird feeder in the garden.

It could be hanging feeders off a wooden bird table or washing line, or perhaps off the garden shed - all of which need serious consideration from a safety point of view.

High up away from predators

Hanging bird feeders that are made to be hung up with use of a hoop of hook attached to the top of the feeder - can be an attractive prospect to predators.

I am not referring to the kind of wildlife that simply turn up to the feeders to eat, but more so those that are intent of killing the feeding birds.

Bird feeders that are designed to hang would normally prevent such an issue as wild birds are feeding high off the ground - while being able to see predators approaching.

But to hang a bird feeder too close to the ground would make it far more difficult.

Obstruction is an issue partially if the grass or hedges can hide cats; as wild birds are feeding lower down - they won't be seen until its too late.

To position a bird feeder 4 feet or higher off the ground is no guarantee of safety, but its far safer than a 2 to 3 feet clearing.

Easily accessible to you

To position a bird feeder off the ground at a good height would never cause issues for you, so only concentrate on the well-being of wild birds.

However, bird feeders still need to be accessible to you, so if its you who is responsible for replenishing the feeders, as well has cleaning them - then make them accessible.

To use a bird feeding station would offer a suitable hanging height for most people.

But to hang a bird feeder off a wall mounted bracket, you could fix this bracket too higher; great for the wild birds but it is a problem for you to reach.

Make life easy for you because an out of reach bird feeder can be forgotten about. So while it remains within reach, there's really no excuses to stock up with fresh bird food, as well as giving it a much needed clean once in a while.


Rely on the height of the bird feeding station you intend to hang the bird feeders off to give you that all important recommend height that is needed.

If hanging up a bird feeder off a wall mounted bracket, mount it 6 to 7 feet off the ground to avoid the hanging clearance reducing to much.

And if the bird feeder you intend to hang is a long one, then this height would still be a within reason.

When hanging up a bird feeder off a bracket or branch, the clearing is quite high initially, but it can soon reduce dramatically once its hanging - so its more accidental than intentional.

Hang up a bird feeder high up as it can go to keep feeding birds away from predators.

To hang a bird feeder to low to the ground can bring wild birds within reach of not only predators, but cats or dogs could come into contact with the bird food - but so to can bacteria on the feeders be an issue for them, health wise.

Share this article: