How to Attract Birds to Your Feeder: Simple & Effective Tips

    attract birds to feeder

    If you love birds, you might dream of making your backyard a place where they love to hang out. Watching birds is not just fun; it’s also good for you! A study in the BioScience journal says watching birds can make you feel less stressed and happier. If you want birds around, you might think about getting some as pets. But if you prefer to see wild birds, putting up a bird feeder is a great first step. It’s exciting to see all the different colorful birds that come by. 

    However, just putting up a feeder doesn’t always mean birds will show up right away. Sometimes, it’s tricky to get them to visit your feeder. Do not worry if this is happening to you. There are some really good tips and tricks out there that can make your backyard a busy place for birds.

    Why Birds Might Not Be Coming to Your Feeder: Simple Tips to Fix It

    Several factors might be contributing to your lack of feathery visitors. Knowing these will enable you to make the adjustments necessary to turn your bird feeder into the neighborhood’s most visited location. Here are some common issues and their solutions:

    Location, Location, Location

    Birds need to feel safe while feeding. If your feeder is in an open area with no nearby cover, birds may deem it too risky. Move your feeder closer to bushes or trees, providing natural shelter but still keeping it at a safe distance to prevent predators from ambushing the birds.

    Type of Food

    Not all birds eat the same thing. Some prefer seeds, while others might be more attracted to suet or nectar. Research the types of birds in your area and fill your feeder with their preferred food types.

    Feeder Cleanliness

    Dirty feeders can spread diseases among bird populations. Regularly clean your feeder with a solution of one part bleach to nine parts water, rinsing thoroughly before refilling with fresh food.


    If your yard is home to squirrels or other wildlife, they might be scaring away or out-competing birds for food. Use squirrel-proof feeders or baffles to deter these critters.


    Birds won’t visit what they can’t see. Place your feeder in a spot that’s easily visible to birds flying by. A colorful ribbon attached nearby can also help catch their eye.

    Lack of Water

    Birds need water not just for drinking but also for bathing. Adding a bird bath near your feeder can make your backyard even more attractive.

    Patience is Key

    Sometimes, all the elements are in place, but the birds still don’t come immediately. Be patient. It can take time for birds to discover your feeder, but once they do, word gets around fast in the bird community.

    Seasonal Changes

    Birds’ feeding habits can change with the seasons. During certain times of the year, they might prefer natural food sources over what’s offered in feeders. Adjust the type of food you offer based on the season. For example, offer high-fat foods like suet during the winter for energy and protein-rich foods like mealworms during the spring to support nesting birds.

    Food Freshness

    Just like humans, birds prefer fresh food. If the food in your feeder has gone stale or rotten, it will not attract birds. Regularly check the food in your feeder and replace it if it looks moldy or smells bad. Store your bird food in a cool, dry place to keep it fresh longer.

    Noise and Human Activity

    Too much noise or movement near the feeder can make birds feel threatened and avoid the area. Try to place your feeder in a quiet part of your yard away from frequent human activity. If you have pets, keep them indoors or away from the feeder as much as possible.

    Feeder Type

    Different birds prefer different types of feeders. Some like tray feeders, while others prefer tube feeders or hopper feeders. Consider having multiple types of feeders in your yard to cater to a variety of bird species. Observe which feeders get the most visits and adjust accordingly.

    Spacing of Feeders

    If feeders are too close together, it can lead to overcrowding, which might deter more timid bird species. Space out your feeders to give birds plenty of room to feed without feeling crowded. This setup also helps reduce the spread of diseases among birds.

    Reflective Surfaces

    Windows and other reflective surfaces can confuse birds, leading to window strikes that scare them away or, worse, injure them. Place feeders either very close (less than 3 feet) or quite far (more than 30 feet) from windows to reduce collision risks. Use window decals or screens to make windows more visible to birds.

    How to Make Birds Love Your Feeder

    To wrap things up, if you want lots of birds visiting your feeder, there are some simple things you can do. It’s not just about putting out a feeder and waiting. You need to think about what birds like and make them feel welcome.

    The number one thing that attracts birds is the food you put in the feeder. Most birds love black oil sunflower seeds because they’re tasty and easy to eat. If you want to see different kinds of birds, you can try adding suet for birds that like bugs, nectar for hummingbirds, and fruit for birds that enjoy a sweet treat.

    Another big tip is to put out some water. A bird bath near your feeder means birds can drink and take baths, which they really like.

    Making sure birds feel safe is also important. Put your feeder in a spot where birds can quickly fly to cover if they get scared, but not so close to bushes that predators can hide. Keeping your feeder clean is super important too, so birds don’t get sick.

    So, remember: good food, clean water, a safe place, and keeping things clean are key. By doing these things, you can turn your yard into a place where lots of birds want to hang out. Just be patient, and soon you’ll have a busy, bird-filled yard to enjoy.