I set up the Wingscapes Autofeeder bird feeder in my yard because I wanted to know if it was worth it or not. I was shocked at what I learned while observing how the feeder functioned and how the birds interacted with it.
I don’t want to leave you in suspense forever, so here’s what I learned: The Wingscapes Auto Bird Feeder is hands down the best bird feeder on the market.
While testing it out I discovered three main benefits to using an auto feeder like Wingscapes. Here they are:
- Auto bird feeders allow you to go on vacation and still feed the birds.
- Auto bird feeders allow save you money by controlling how much seed the birds get each day vs. how much they can or want to eat.
- Auto bird feeders keep birdseed dry and fresh.
When I first came across this feeder, my initial thought was “why would anyone ever need an automatic birdseed dispenser for feeding wild backyard birds”? I suspended judgment temporarily, set it up, and tested it for a couple of months. What I learned even surprised me.
I’ll go into more detail in a minute about my experience with this feeder, but first, let me explain what a bird auto feeder is in case it’s new to you too.
If you’d rather skip to the review, click here.
What is a Bird auto feeder?
Just like it sounds, a bird auto feeder is a feeder that automatically dispenses birdseed from a stored area to the feeding tray. Birds are then able to feed on the seed until it’s gone, or until the next supply of birdseed is automatically dispensed. Auto feeders are comprised of 3 main parts:
- Storage area: An area that stores the birdseed until it’s time to be dispensed.
- Timer Mechanism: A built-in timer that releases the birdseed at predetermined times.
- Feeding Tray: The area where the birdseed is dispensed to and where the birds perch to feed on the seed.
What to look for in a Bird Autofeeder?
In order for an auto feeder to be worthy in my eyes, it needs to have the qualities below. Otherwise, you might as well just hang out a regular old, manual bird feeder.
- Storage Capacity: The storage area must hold at least 4 cups of birdseed. Any less than that and the feeder loses its benefit of you not having to go out and feed the birds so often.
- Protection from the Elements: The storage area must keep the seed dry and secure so it doesn’t get moldy and isn’t accessible by squirrels and other wildlife you didn’t plan to feed.
- Hold a Variety of Birdseed: The feeder should be able to hold a variety of birdseed types and sizes. At a minimum, it should work with black-oil sunflower seed.
- Control of Food Dispensing. The feeder must have a mechanism that controls the release of the birdseed vs. just dispensing whenever the tray is empty. It should allow for dispensing the food multiple times a day – ideally at least twice, AM and PM.
- Dispenser Amount: The dispenser must dispense at least 1/3 cup of seed. Any less than that amount and only a few birds can enjoy the seed.
- Feeding Tray Size: The feeder tray must be large enough to support medium-sized birds (e.g. a bird the size of a cardinal) so we can enjoy watching a variety of birds at the feeder.
- Ease of Cleaning: The feeder and its parts must be easy to clean so you can be a responsible bird host and not facilitate the spreading of germs and make the birds sick. Anyone who’s visited my blog in the past knows I’m a huge proponent of being a responsible bird host. This means cleaning the feeders and baths regularly is a must. Any feeder I recommend must be able to be cleaned easily which means it needs to be made of nonporous material and easy to take apart.
- Warranty: At least a 1-year warranty to protect your investment because auto feeders cost more than most manual feeders.
Wingscapes AutoFeeder Review
Upon receiving the Wingscapes AutoFeeder bird feeder, I was immediately impressed with its sturdiness. The primary material is hard plastic and the hanger & top is metal.
Even the battery and timer doors fit perfectly (no loosey-goosey or plastic hinges that eventually rip off) and stay put with thumb screws. By the way, I liked not having to search for a screwdriver.
The feeder has some weight to it (3.5 lbs. even before it’s filled with seed) so be prepared to have a sturdy hook to hang it from. I hung mine from my super sturdy Squirrel Stoppers Sequoia bird feeder pole.
The Wingscapes AutoFeeder in Action
Below is some video footage I captured of the Wingscapes AutoFeeder in my yard. Notice the red-winged blackbird (a larger bird) manages to use the feeding tray so it’s plenty big for most birds.
How Wingscapes AutoFeeder Measures Up
The table below shows how the Wingscapes AutoFeeder compares with the minimum qualities and requirements I previously defined.
|Holds up to 1 gallon (16 cups) of birdseed.
|Protection from the Elements
|Protects against snow, rain, squirrels
|The enclosed clear cylinder, metal top, and dispenser trap keep the birdseed dry.
|Hold a Variety of Birdseed
|At least black-oil sunflower seed.
|I confirmed it works with black-oil sunflower seeds, safflower, and striped sunflower seeds. Thistle wouldn’t work great but I wouldn’t expect it to. Thistle or nyjer seed is best used in a thistle-style feeder.
|Control of Food Dispensing
|2 times / AM & PM
|You can define up to 4 different intervals and the hour in which the birdseed is dispensed. For example, I set mine to dispense 2x each day at 4 AM and 4 PM.
|You can configure the amount of seed dispensed. The options range from 1 – 10 seconds. It’s a bit tricky, but when set to 5 seconds, the system releases birdseed for 5 seconds. I can’t say how much quantity is released per second so you have to experiment. I set mine to 10 seconds and I estimate it releases between 1/2 – 3/4 cup of seed.
|Feeding Tray Size
|The feeding tray accommodates cardinals. See the video above.
|Ease of Cleaning
|Non-porous & comes apart
|The brushes inside the dispensing mechanism get gunked up over time and are a challenge to clean properly. As a result, you may not get it as clean as it should be. Wingscapes made the following comment relative to cleaning this part of the feeder: “We do not recommend soaking your base piece since it houses the motor and electronics, but we do recommend taking a damp Q-tip or damp small rag with hot soapy water or diluted bleach to clean the inside. Once cleaned out, we recommend air drying thoroughly to prevent any moisture from being trapped when the feeder is put back together”. I think this is a reasonable approach.
|Wingscapes offers a 1-year warranty against manufacturer defects.
The Wingscapes AutoFeeder also has some additional features I’d like to highlight:
- It has a built-in baffle intended to prevent other wildlife from breaching the storage cylinder. This is ideal for anyone who doesn’t have a bird feeder pole with a built-in squirrel baffle.
- The feeding tray has holes for drainage. This is great when it rains so the birdseed isn’t left to sit in water and mold or just unappealing to the birds.
- The dispenser is easy to program the number of intervals, time, and amount. There is no confusing programming required… just easily set and it works.
Below is an example of the cost savings when using an automatic bird feeder like the Wingscapes AutoFeeder. Let’s make a few assumptions and do the math.
- A 6# bag of birdseed contains about 12 cups and costs $11.98
- One cup of birdseed = $1.00
- Without an auto feeder the birds consume about 1.25 cups of seed each day
- You set the auto feeder to dispends 1/2 of seed 2 times/day = 1 cup/day
- Cost Savings is $90/per year.
|Wagner’s Cardinal Blend Wild Bird Seed Mix 6# Bag (12 cups)
|Feed the Birds Without Restriction (1.25 cups/day)
|Feed the Birds using the Wingscapes AutoFeeder (1 cup/day)
Obviously, the cost would be more or less depending on the auto feeder settings, how much the birds in your yard consume when there’s no restriction, and how much the seed costs.
What could use improvement?
If I had any criticisms about the auto feeder it would be the ability to dispense more than (roughly) 3/4 cup of seed at a time. Some people have more birds to feed and would like to offer more birdseed.
Is the Wingscapes AutoFeeder Bird Feeder Worth It?
Yes. After using the Wingscapes AutoFeeder bird feeder I determined it has merit, and is definitely worth it, and I highly recommend it.
Best Wild Bird Automatic Feeder
Wingscapes Bird AutoFeeder
Automatically dispenses bird food so you can go on vacation and not worry about feeding the birds.
You control the amount of food offered rather than a free-for-all. This saves you money.
Large capacity (1 gallon), enclosed container keeps food fresh & dry so there’s no waste.
The large perching area welcomes birds of all sizes.
Although the initial cost of the feeder is higher than the standard bird feeder, it pays for itself within a year as it rations the amount of bird seed offered rather than letting the birds determine how much they want to eat.
It’s especially valuable if you’re concerned about the birds while on vacation or just don’t want the hassle of filling the feeder as often.
I set up, used, tested, and observed the Wingscapes Bird Auto Feeder in my yard for several months. It’s my opinion that it’s absolutely worth it for feeding backyard birds.
I highly recommend it for keeping birdseed dry, dispensing seed at regular intervals so you don’t have to remember or are on vacation, and for the ability to better manage your bird feeding budget.
Following the initial observation period in my yard, I decided to keep it up year-round. I now consider it the bird feeder I never knew I needed.