Platform bird feeder designs offer benefits
to humans and wild birds alike.

A platform bird feeder is the easiest to use, most basic type of feeder.

Its design offers a flat surface or tray with low sides whose floor either has drainage holes or is made from wire or screen allowing water to escape and keeping the seed that's spread out on the tray dry.

A basic platform feeder, also called tray bird feeder, is the most non-exclusive design.  Because of the open style, all species of birds and other animals such as squirrels can easily access the feed.

There are a few adjustments that can be made to a platform bird feeder to make it a bit more exclusive and those are adjustments to its size, covering, and placement.

The smaller a tray or platform feeder is, the more it will invite smaller rather than larger birds.  The larger the tray, the more species will use it, including larger birds.

Likewise, the addition of a roof over the feeder to keep the seed and feeding birds protected from elements limits its use by some larger birds because they are uncomfortable or simply unable to navigate access to the feeding tray.

Placement of a platform bird feeder can be directly on the ground, elevated on legs, hung, mounted on a pole, or attached to a window.  And where you choose to place the feeder can limit which birds visit it.  Ground feeding birds will be most comfortable when the tray is at lower levels while only smaller birds will likely visit trays mounted to windows because those feeders will be smaller ones.

This wild bird feeder design has pros or cons that often depend on your personal preferences.


  • The platform feeder is good for beginning backyard birders who want to attract all the birds in their area and don't want to be selective.
  • You can watch the birds to find out which species are in your neighborhood.  Later you may decide to place one or more species-specific feeders.
  • These feeders are easy to clean.


  • Tray bird feeders allow access to all bird species.  This includes birds considered to be undesirable by many because they are aggressive and don't allow others to feed.
  • Other animals, including small ones like squirrels as well as larger ones like deer, have easy access to platform feeders and may quickly deplete the food to the disadvantage of your feathered visitors and your bird feed budget.
  • Food is most exposed to weather in these feeders and care must be taken to keep it drained, dry and free from mold.

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