Have you ever experienced the disappointment of meticulously positioning and stocking your bird feeders, only to find that no feathered visitors grace your backyard? If so, you're not alone. Many bird lovers have faced this challenge, wondering how to entice birds to their feeders effectively.

What should you do to kickstart the process of attracting birds to your backyard feeders? How to make your feeders a reliable and welcoming food source for your feathered friends? Achieving the best results requires a multifaceted approach, rather than relying on a single factor. In this article, we'll explore strategies to transform your feeders into a reliable and inviting food source for our avian friends.

backyard bird

Know Your Local Birdlife

The first crucial step in attracting feathered guests to your feeders is to acquaint yourself with the natural surroundings in your neighborhood and gain a deeper understanding of the local birds. This fundamental knowledge enables you to get on a much smoother journey and accelerates the arrival of your winged friends.

How Do Birds Find Bird Feeders?

Food and safety are all that birds prioritize. These little creatures are just like us humans, foraging for food and finding shelters every day for basic survival. That's why it is the primary step for you to attract birds, to ensure an adequate supply of food and water.

We recommend you spend a considerable portion of your day selecting delicious and appropriate food nourishment for your local birds before you put it into your feeder(Detailed guidance on this is provided in subsequent sections of this article). Putting forth this effort is instrumental in establishing a conducive feeding environment for these cute creatures to easily identify. Once they target your feeder and recognize it as a reliable food source, they will come on a regular basis.

attract bird with water
One cute fact is that most birds have a relatively poor sense of smell, which means that when they are searching for food, they rely primarily on sight, occasionally supplemented by their sense of hearing. The sound of water dripping and the water fountain draws birds easily especially in winter. Additionally, bright colors are believed to attract birds to visit, see below in the later sections.

Place Your Feeder Strategically

Bird feeders should be placed in a safe area that protects the birds from threatening creatures and at different heights for different bird species. Most birds do not fly directly to a new feeder as they are cautious and are afraid of potential harm and danger from cats/hawks or other animals(and humans of course). They do not want to be too exposed, so there better be some coverings like trees or large bushes nearby(but you need to keep the feeders from small bushes that cats can hide in).

attract backyard birds

In general, feeders should be put at least 5 feet from the ground to prevent jumping squirrels and cats, see other reasons in How High Should Bird Feeders Be from Ground. Small birds like finches and chickadees adore tube feeders put in a higher position and larger birds such as cardinals, jays, doves prefer the more open platform feeders. Apart from that, you should also ensure a standing/staging perch for the birds so that they can rest and enjoy the meal leisurely. See Birdfy Pro Perch Extension and Birdfy Hummee Extension.

If you want to build a natural landscape near the feeder that may be more appealing for the lovely guests, remember to grow native plants. To protect our little guests, chemical-free options should be considered. For example, you can grow fruit-bearing plants such as cherry trees and raspberry bushes. To invite hummingbirds and orioles, tubular flowers like fuchsia are suggested.

Entice Birds with Colorful Allure

Do you know that you can increase the chance of birds visiting your feeder simply by adjusting the color(s) of the surrounding environment? Dive into the topic of what colors attract birds in this section:

Red, orange, and yellow: Common sense is that vivid and right colors are more likely to attract birds, among which red, orange, and yellow tend to be the most attractive. This is because these colors are generally associated with reliable food sources that make them survive. See Birdfy Hum Feeder which is presented in these colors and is equipped with built-in dual cameras.

Hummingbird Feeder
Blue: However, some birds, for example, blue jays, also prefer blue as it is commonly found in nature. Birdfy Smart Feeder is a blue bird feeder and Birdfy Feeder Bamboo is a more natural choice if you would like to make your creative decorations and paint on the bamboo material.

Bird Feeder Bamboo with camera

Don't forget to make sure that the pigments you use to paint on the feeder are non-toxic and unharmful to the little birds. Also, it is more likely to attract birds if the paintings are of light colors and are kept simple as well as natural.

Best Seeds for Backyard Birds

As mentioned above, food is the most essential factor that attracts birds to your feeder. In this section, we introduce the best seed types that fit different birds' preferences and provide some suggestions on how to choose seeds for different periods throughout the year.

Basic line - keep your bird seed FRESH:

Choosing the right food for your local birds is the basic bar for inviting them to pay a visit. The silver lining above all about providing bird food is to keep them fresh, not moldy or rancid, which is fatal to birds. All the bird seeds should be replaced and refilled in two weeks if there is no rain or snow(wet food repels birds too). If you can make your feeder a never-ending seed supplier, more and more birds will begin to come. Birdfy Smart Feeder and Birdfy Feeder Bamboo ensure a large supply of bird seeds with 1.5L(50oz) and 3L(101oz) food capacity, which makes it easier for birds to spot and stay longer.

Choose the Right Seed Types

bird seeds

  • Black oil sunflower seed: The commonly welcomed seed type for most birds.
  • White proso millet: Adored by Juncos, doves, and small sparrows.
  • Fruit treat: Suitable for woodpeckers and robins.
  • Peanuts: Favored by jays and nuthatches.
  • Nectars: For the cute hummingbirds.

Be WARY of mixed seeds:

Avoid buying those mixed seeds with some "filler" seeds that are not enjoyed by most birds. When you put mixed seeds in one feeder, be aware that there may be some occasions when one or two seed types are not liked by some aggressive visitors. In this case, those seeds may be tossed to the ground and this may deter the milder birds from coming near(although some birds prefer feeding from the ground). As a result, putting different types of seed in different feeders separately may encourage more birds to enjoy the food at the same time. You can also put a Birdfy Anti-scattering Cover to limit this phenomenon.

Birdfy Anti-scattering Cover

Varying the seed types:

To attract feathered visitors, you should also consider varying the seed types throughout the year in different seasons. In summer, sunflower seed is a good choice as it doesn't easily go rancid on hot days. In the fall, birds need more protein from mixed seeds to prepare for the coming winter. From winter to spring, birds require seeds with more fat and calories to generate energy and take better care of the baby birds.

Take the Climate into Account

Mid to late autumn is considered the best time to set up a bird feeder as most birds(not all) migrate in the fall to seek a place that offers vegetation, water, and food for them to overcome the harsh winter. There are enough natural food resources for birds in summer and early autumn, making it more difficult for them to visit bird feeders placed around human habitats. During one day, morning and late in the day are the common times that they fly around and look for things to eat.

Tips on Attracting Birds to Your New Feeder

If you want to change your bird feeder into a new one, we suggest you put it in the same old place where the old feeder is placed. This is to prevent the regular winged guests from losing their way to the steady, hard-to-find food source in your backyard and choosing to leave. If you want to move it, you may do so gradually to let the birds follow. Commonly, you might need to wait for several days before your feeders have their first visitors. You can observe the level of bird seeds to see if any birds have come, or simply check the real-time notification from your devices if your feeder is equipped with a camera, like Birdfy Smart Feeder and Birdfy Feeder Bamboo.

attract birds to your backyard
To summarize, attracting birds to your feeder can't be achieved in a rush. There are a lot of things you need to consider and efforts are necessary throughout the process. JUST BE PATIENT and we believe that the instructions in this article would be of great help for you to attract and welcome your first little feathered guest! Birds in Sight, Joy in Mind.

September 28, 2023 — Yin Liang

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