You have your brand new window bird feeder setup and you filled it with bird seed. But, you have a problem. Why don’t the birds trip over each other to try it out?
Just like you and I, birds tend to eat at places where they know they can get a good meal. Birds will generally not seek another feeding spot unless it becomes unreliable. It can take anywhere from a few days to a few months to have birds visiting your feeder on a regular basis.
10 Tips on Attracting Birds to Your Feeder
1. Use Fresh High-Quality Seed – Moisture, bugs, mold, or clumps will discourage birds from visiting. Try using black oil sunflower seeds, sunflower hearts, and nyjer seed until you have attracted steady visits from your local birds.
2. Replacing an Existing Feeder – Try to keep them as close together as possible before removing the old feeder. This will give the birds a chance to visit the feeder next door before you take down the old one.
3. Patience is a Virtue – Birds can be very slow to warm up to a new feeder. They generally will not visit your feeder on a regular basis until their other food sources are gone. This can take days or even months depending up the habitat surrounding the feeder.
4. Incentives – Sometimes you have to bribe the birds to speed things up. You can use a spoon full of peanut butter covered in bird seed to the top or to the perch that can help attract birds that otherwise may fly right by.
5. Position Matters – Try to put the feeder in a location that is the most inviting. It should leave the birds feeling safe. Placing it near bushes, trees, or a birdbath can be a great help.
6. Seed Scattering – This method is only useful if your bird feeder is over a hard finished surface like a patio or concrete. You can try to spread seed along the ground below the feeder to attract birds. If you choose to do this over gardens or normal soil you will soon find the seed growing into unwanted plants!
7. Ladder Climber – Place a stepladder near the new feeder and drop some seed on the lowest step. Over the course of a few weeks replace seed to the next higher step and the next higher step to lead the birds to your desired bird feeder. Once the birds find the feeder remove the ladder.
8. Maybe You Missed Them – Unless you have the luxury of watching your feeder 24/7 it is possible that your special flying guests visited when you are not around. It can be a seasonal thing, weather based, or even just simply your schedule vs. the birds. Give it time!
9. Overfilling – More seed does not equate to more birds. Overfilling your bird feeder will generally mean that it will spoil as it won’t be eaten fast enough by your neighborhood birds. Only partially fill your bird feeder until you visiting birds.
10. Be Patient – Yes, we mentioned this once before. But, it is so important we mentioned it twice. Just like a new restaurant in town, it takes some time for it to become a success and word of mouth is what encourage people to visit. Give the birds time to test and share this with their fellow birds!
Follow these tips and you will soon find your bird feeder difficult to keep full of seed due to the overwhelming popularity of your feeder. Keep the faith!