The Best Types Of Bird Feeders For Doves

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When you spot doves in your backyard, you'll most likely find them comfortably walking around on the ground, looking for food. Thus, when searching for the best types of bird feeders for mourning doves, you'll want to take into account their behavior, as well as their body type. Overall, doves are larger than other backyard feeder birds.

Because of their ground-foraging nature, doves prefer flat, ground-level bird feeders, which allow them to collect their food and then fly away to digest it later in safety. Large, open, platform feeders, tray feeders, or hopper-style feeders with extra space to prevent overcrowding are all suitable options for creating a dedicated feeding spot in your background for doves.

These granivores prefer foraging on the ground for grains, nuts, and seeds, and they can collect a lot while they're at it, thanks to a specialized neck pouch called a crop. When filling your dove bird feeder, consider a selection of millet, sunflower seeds, cracked corn, oats, and thistle seeds. Always make sure you have a water source available for them, too. On that note, here are our picks for the best types of bird feeders for mourning doves.

Best ground feeder

Larger-capacity ground feeders are an excellent choice for attracting doves because they align with the bird's natural ground-feeding behavior. Since ground bird feeders sit flat and can blend into a backyard's surroundings, these types of bird feeders simply fit with what mourning doves look for in a feeding source, as opposed to bird feeders that sit higher up or that offer nothing for doves to walk on or to sit in, such as tube feeders or mesh feeders.

Overall, ground bird feeders are easy to clean and because of their simple design, need little maintenance. For this type of bird feeder, our pick for the best is Gray Bunny's ground feeder ($25), which ranks relatively high among birding aficionados at Amazon and is deemed durable and resistant to the elements. Made of cast iron, some individuals, it should be noted, claim rust is inevitable after prolonged exposure to adverse weather.

Best platform feeder

Fly-through platform feeders provide comfortable feeding accommodations for doves by giving them a place to safely eat with clear visibility of their surroundings. Additionally, fly-through platform feeders are easy-to-clean and maintain and offer good drainage, which helps to keep seeds fresh.

The Birds Choice fly-through platform feeder ($89) is specifically designed for multiple or larger birds, such as doves. The roof offers coverage to keep the food dry and protects the birds from the elements as they eat. This feeder arrives fully assembled and ready to hang and fill with your choice of food. Crafted from high-quality poly lumber, it's resistant to splitting, cracking, and fading.

The dimensions of the feeder are 17 inches in height, 13 inches in width, and 11 inches in length. Over 80% of reviewers give this feeder five stars, praising its rot-proof construction, use of recycled materials, and the fact that it can be mounted, hung, or used as a ground feeder.

Best hopper feeder

Hopper-style bird feeders feature a reservoir that slowly dispenses birdseed as birds feed. For doves, you'll want to look for one that offers a platform (or two) for the birds to sit in. Because this type of bird feeder keeps seeds contained inside the hopper, it's a good starter feeder that works well in keeping the birdseed dry and fresh for longer. What's more, hopper-style bird feeders tend to be squirrel-proof.

The Hilltop Specialties Dinette Recycled Bird Feeder ($140) is a handcrafted feeder made entirely from recycled plastic. It features a hopper that can hold up to 4 quarts of birdseed, plus a large tray on each side of the hopper to accommodate multiple birds. In fact, the bird feeder is designed to attract ground-foraging birds, like the dove. It measures 13 inches in width, 17 inches in length, and 9.5 inches in height. The flooring of the trays is perforated, allowing for drainage.

Best tray feeder

Tray bird feeders are versatile feeders that can be mounted on a post, put flat on terra firma, or hung from tree branches for easy perching. However, specifically, for mourning doves, this type of bird feeder is best to place nearer the ground to allow the doves to forage for seed and other food as they naturally would.

Solution4Patio's swing bird feeder ($25) is crafted with treated cedar wood and measures 8.3 inches in length, 7.7 inches in width, and 15.2 inches in height. Per the manufacturer, the bird feeder is designed for cardinals, another ground-forager like the dove. The bird feeder's trays feature a mesh, powder-coated bottom meant to keep the birdseed dry and preserve it for longer. The mesh also helps to keep bird droppings separate from the seed.

The feeder currently has a 4.6 overall star rating on Amazon, though some reviewers question the feeder's craftsmanship. The main problem, however, seems to be seed loss on windy days; one way around this is to mount the bird feeder so that it's stabilized from the back.

Best duo feeder

While all living creatures need water to survive, doves require comparatively more water than other bird species. For this reason, GrayBunny's rail-mounted combination bird feeder and bath takes our top spot for the best duo feeder for doves.

Not only is this two-in-one feeder less than $20, but it serves as both a food and water (or bath) source. It's made with weatherproof coated steel, and the entire feeder can be broken down for easy cleaning. Both the tray and dish rotate 360 degrees, and the entire feeder measures 9 inches in length and 7 inches in width. Further, for doves, specifically, rather than mount this bird feeder higher up, you could attach it lower to the ground.

Some reviewers question the durability of the water dish, claiming it doesn't hold up to the weather. But this can be rectified by adding your own water dish or even using that space for a potted plant. After all, doves need something pretty to look at that can also provide them with a bit of coverage. When in doubt, Gray Bunny's duo feeder-and-bath also comes with a one-year warranty.