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What to Put Under Bird Feeders

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what to put under bird feeders

One doesn’t really need to put anything under the bird feeders if you don’t mind the mess and intend to only have a few birds come to eat the seeds.

Birds are known for their excellent vision. Because they mostly rely on their sense of sight to find food, and generally to live, they can view small objects from long distances.

As such, if you want more birds to flock to your feeders then you must know what to put under bird feeders to attract them. Birds will be more likely to visit your feeder if the ground beneath it is attractive.


What to Put on the Ground Under a Bird Feeder

It’s not enough to pay attention to your bird feeder alone. Equally important is what you put on the ground beneath the feeder if your goal is to have plenty of birds flock to your feeder.

Plus, having something underneath the bird feeders is crucial in ensuring the cleanliness of the area. After all, you don’t want your bird viewing experience to be marred by litter. Likewise, an uncleaned area underneath the bird feeder could invite other unwanted guests like rodents.

There are many options when it comes to choosing the best items to put on the ground beneath the bird feeder. Here are some of them.


The best way to attract birds is to make the ground underneath the feeder very attractive and colorful from the sky.

You can plant shrubs or flowers underneath your bird feeder with flowering plants. It may be a good idea to plant wildflowers beneath the feeder as their seeds are generally attractive to birds.

Choosing tall plants could deter birds and you could end up uprooting your feeder. Instead, you can opt for other low-growing plants such as holly or sunflowers.

Consider wildflowers such as coneflowers, daylilies, geraniums, lupines, cotoneasters, dahlias, lemon balms, coneflowers, and clematis. Wildflowers smell good and produce many seeds which birds can also feed on. A bright and aromatic landscape around and underneath the feeder will attract more birds.

A Seed Tray

seed tray bird feeders

A seed tray under your bird feeder goes a long way in keeping the area clean. Additionally, by adding a tray to your feeder, you might be able to attract a wider variety of birds.

The tray is also helpful in attracting more birds because birds can eat either at the feeder or on the tray. Thus, you will end up having a two-for-one feeder.

Some kinds of birds gravitate toward platform-style feeders and your tray can act as a platform-style feeder

One of the advantages of placing a seed tray under your bird feeder is that it catches the spilled bird seeds. This way, you don’t have to keep sweeping the area below the feeder to maintain cleanliness. Keep in mind that birds are messy eaters, often knocking out seeds from the feeder

Also, you save money since the tray catches seeds that would otherwise be wasted.


It’s a great idea to put a mulch or any material that you can lay or spread over the surface underneath your bird feeder. This option is an organic solution that allows you to easily manage the litter from the feeder.

Adding new mulch is all that’s required every few weeks after you scoop out littered mulch. As well as keeping weeds at bay, mulch keeps the area around the feeder tidy.


pavers under bird feeders

Having a hard surface made of paver brick makes cleaning so much easier. You can simply sweep, or hose off litter from the feeder with a hard surface.

Pavers are also a great-looking option and are quite colorful. You can choose different shades of brick to come up with a unique and bright-looking surface or you can opt for a more classic tiling design choice.

Shade Fabric

A shade fabric can also be used to catch seed that falls from the feeder.

The fabric is perfect for those who want an easy way of cleaning the litter and keeping unwanted weeds during springtime. Cleaning is a breeze as you only need to pull the fabric up and throw away the litter that’s on it.

Shade fabrics are great because they allow moisture and air to flow, preventing your grass from dying.


In the end, preparing and fixing what’s underneath your bird feeder has the dual benefit of attracting birds to your feeder as well as allowing you to easily maintain cleanliness.

But don’t just grab anything. Knowing and choosing carefully what to put under bird feeders is important. Taking anything available or handy may do more harm than good as you will end up spending more time cleaning while keeping birds away from your feeder.

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