What’s This Post About?
Bird feeders come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and models. Choosing the correct feeder isn’t the only thing you should be cautious about. Multiple things can attract or dissuade birds from using your new feeder.
Understanding how to lure birds to a feeder will make it easier for them to move from one feeder to the next. This will allow you to increase the number of birds which visit your backyard just the way you like it to be.
There are 5 easy steps to get birds to use a new bird feeder. Place it in the right location and add feed in it that the birds will like. Also add a few attractions around the new feeder and remove old feeders. Now all you have to do is wait for your backyard to be filled with birds.
How To Get Birds to Feed From a New Feeder?
To get a bird to use a new feeder, place the feeder in a suitable location. Add decorations near it to attract the birds. Then be patient and let the birds find the feeder.
If you are looking to attract the bird which frequently visit your backyard to a new feeder, you just need to take into account a couple of steps to help you achieve this. Birds who once become used to one sort of feeder, it isn’t difficult to persuade them into using another one.
Follow the steps below to move from the old feeder to the new one.
Step 1 - Keep the Feeder in A Suitable Spot
Once you have decided what feeder to place, the most important question is where to place it. When deciding on the location for your feeder, consider asking yourself these questions:
- Is the place safe from predators like house pets?
- Is the feed accessible to unwanted insects like bees, ants, or wasps?
- Is it away from the window to prevent birds from flying into it?
- Is it placed at an easy-to-detect location?
- Does it have trees or bushes nearby?
These questions are essential to answer if you want birds to visit your feeder. Most birds will not fly to a place that seems unsafe or overcrowded to them. They prefer places that are quiet, peaceful, and without hint of danger.
Commonly, other insects try to take advantage of the feeder that you put out. However, this will dissuade your visitors from using your feeders.
Your feeder is of no use if the birds can’t see it. While trees and bushes nearby are important, it shouldn’t be too crowded. The feeder should be placed in an open space so flying birds can detect and come to it.
If you are struggling with placing the feeder, don’t worry. You can read up on our special post about setting up a bird feeder.
Setting up your bird feeding station is an easy process if you follow these 7 steps. Here is a guide that will help you along this way.
To protect your feeders from extreme weathers like rain and snow, you can place baffles that will act as a weather guard. It will also keep your feeder safe from squirrels.
Amazon has a great collection of baffles that will protect your feeder from potential rodents.
This squirrel baffle wrap around effectively blocks out predators from using the feeder!
Step 2 - Add Food According to Preferences of Nearby Birds In The Feeder
A feeder is not complete without the feed in it. You have to care about the kind of feed you choose to put out. You must be aware of the birds that visit your area, and the feed must cater to their diet specifically.
It is therefore important that you do a little research about birds and their respective food preferences.
Do not purchase low-cost food or branded low-quality feed from big chain hardware or convenience stores. Invest in high-quality bird feed that satisfies your birds' nutritional requirements to keep them safe.
If you aren’t aware of specific birds that visit, being generic can also help. Three types of feed attract almost any kind of bird.
- Sunflower hearts
- Black oil sunflower seeds
- Thistle seed
Once you can observe what birds are coming, you may adopt a more specified feed when filling your feeder next. As the birds become accustomed to your feeder, you can start changing or mix the feed.
Birds are great at sighting food from a distance. If it’s a new feeder, you can try placing seeds on top of it in addition to the enclosed feeder so it’s easily detectable.
Step 3 - Make the Feeder More Attractive For Birds With Decorations
Providing a reliable food supply isn’t enough to attract birds to your yard. You have to be equipped to cater to other needs that they may have. What do you think the birds need besides food?
- need water to bathe
- need trees and bushes for shade and to rest
- adore flowers and colors
Birds need water almost as much as they require food, and a birdbath filled with warm, freshwater would provide much-needed relief. A supply of water would also assist birds in keeping their feathers fresh while they take a bath.
The best thing you can do to aid your backyard is to provide the birds with moving water. They love the sight and the sound moving water makes. Some birds will even travel great distances to see moving water because it fascinates them so much!
If you already have a fountain, install a solar power pump. Birds don’t just bathe in the water, they also just stand around. Explore the following two solar-powered fountains by Electop and RIOFLY:
The solar fountain will automatically start working within 3 seconds once exposed to sufficient sunlight. It is a perfect buy!
The solar fountain can run automatically in just 3s under direct sunlight, and the spray height is 30-60cm. It is a wise purchase!
Ensure that your water body isn’t too deep. If it has depth to it, put stones to decrease it.
Try planting trees and bushes around the feeder. They will serve a dual purpose. They will protect the feeder from direct sunlight and rain and the varying heights of branches and bushes give a place for the birds to rest.
Make the yard ever more enticing for the birds by using colors birds prefer. Hummingbirds are known to be attracted to color, so many feeders are bright red to draw their attention.
Orioles and Goldfinches are attracted to orange and yellow, and feeders designed specifically for them are often available in these colors.
Step 4 - Only Let The New Feeder Remain Outside and Remove Others
Usually, it’s a good idea to install multiple feeders so that one doesn’t get crowded. There are a lot of dominant birds out there who tend to hoard a feeder. This discourages the other species to visit your backyard.
However, when you install a new feeder, it must be the only feeder in the location. Multiple feeders will act as distractions, and you will not be able to attract the birds to the newly installed feeder. You can put the old feeder back when the charm of the new feeder wears off, and the birds become used to it.
Step 5 - Wait For The Birds To Find The Feeder
If you have been careful about each of the steps I have discussed, birds will come to your feeder soon enough. The process takes time. The birds will first need to detect that a new feeder has been installed, and then they will take their time to get accustomed to it.
Birds are timid creations. They are attracted to feeders that seem secure to them. Once they check off all the above requirements, not only will they come to your feeders, they will soon become regular visitors.
It is common for birds to have excelled memory. They will not only visit the same location but also the same feeder if it is to their liking.
How To Feed Birds Without A Bird Feeder?
There are a lot of reasons why people avoid having feeders. Some of them include:
- It creates a mess so many home associations also ban their usage.
- It attracts unwanted pests and rodents.
- It’s a hassle to maintain, and refill them.
Did You Know?
Flowers, trees, and shrubs act as natural feeders for the birds as well as a valuable shelter and nest habitat.
If you find yourself wondering how to feed birds without a feeder there is a very simple solution.
Regardless of whether feeders are present, providing plants that are natural bird attractants is a perfect method to lure birds. You’ll have to do some study because different birds use different varieties of plants.
If you provide the birds with feed in the form of flowers and shrubs, they will suffice. To attract the birds you can still follow the remaining steps. Providing the birds with moving water works wonders, with or without a feeder.
Some bird lovers also enjoy feeding the birds with their hands. This allows them to witness this beautiful process up close.
Do not make sudden movements when trying to feed the bird from your hand. It will mistake you as a threat and fly away.
When your backyard visitors don’t seem as enthusiastic about their latest feeder as you may be, it can be discouraging. Make an effort not to take it to heart. Change is difficult for all, even birds.
If you have chosen the right location, place the required feed and attractions, the only thing you can do is be patient. Leave the feeder and the birds alone for a while. Before you know it, your new feeder will be crowded with colorful birds.
If your new feeder still doesn’t work, you know how to feed birds without the feeder. Give that a chance and see if you can fulfill your backyard birding dream.
If you are a bird enthusiast and are curious why hummingbirds won’t visit your feeder, read our blog to find out more.
Are you thinking, “Why won’t hummingbirds come to my feeder?”. Well, this happens because of location, the feeder, or perhaps just mother nature!
David A. Swanson
Bird Watching USA
My name is David and I'm the the founder of Bird Watching USA! I started Bird Watching with My father-in-law many years ago, and I've become an addict to watching these beautiful creatures. I've learnt so much over about bird watching over the years that I want to share with the world everything I know about them!