Updated at: 29-07-2022 - By: Jane Brody

Like humans, most animals in the wild have a memory, but how long a wild bird can remember something is entirely up to chance.

Birds will return to the same feeder each day to feast on the fresh seed you’ve put out for them. If you decide to discontinue providing bird seed, you will merely encourage the birds to find new feeding sites. The memory of backyard birds have been demonstrated to endure up to 6 months, so as long as you keep feeding them, you shouldn’t have any trouble.

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Wild birds are said to have a memory, albeit a short one at only six months, give or take a month depending on the species.

However, this information can be used for a wide variety of frequent bird feeder diners like bluebirds, finches, and sparrows.

Keep in mind that birds will gradually grow accustomed to your bird feeder, so it’s best to keep it up year-round.

Birds rely on this skill so they may easily return to the same backyard bird feeders both early in the morning and late at night for another feeding.

This skill is essential since wild birds need to rely on their memories not just when feeding their young but also when building nests in the wild or in bird houses.

You shouldn’t discourage birds from sticking around by not constantly providing food for them, as they will remember your feeders if you don’t.

If you don’t provide a consistent food source for the birds that visit your yard, they will leave as quickly as they arrived.

Birds do remember

Like domesticated parrots, the birds that frequent our backyards have a memory and might return to the same feeders year after year.

There has been no conclusive study on the memory span of wild birds, but one conducted on Nutcrackers and Chickadees in the United States claimed it could be as long as six months.

According to laboratory testing, these birds could only recall the locations of bird seeds for this amount of time.

We should expect to see the same typical backyard birds returning to our yards year after year in search of what has shown to be a reliable food source.

Birds remember the shape and design of feeders as a source of food more than the actual feed used.

As for how long each individual bird in the wild remembers things for, it varies greatly from species to species.

Birds remember feeder locations

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It’s safe to assume the birds that frequent our American backyards and feed from our bird feeders do indeed remember the location.

After a hiatus of up to six months, people may forget where they used to eat.

As the birds who frequent our yards tend to be nearby, we may see them return to the bird feeders without even realizing they were previously frequenting our yards.

Birds tend to return to the same feeders year after year if they are close enough, but if the feeders are too far away, the birds may abandon them in favor of more accessible food sources.

Wild birds, like humans and other creatures, eventually forget their past experiences, so they won’t come back to your bird feeders.

The obvious solution to this problem is to maintain a constant supply of bird seed in the feeder so that the birds do not abandon your backyard.

Continue to return if replenished

Wild birds in your yard will disappear if you don’t keep feeding them.

It goes without saying that once you’ve refilled the bird feeder, a swarm of birds will return.

However, if you let the water evaporate from the feeder, the birds will move on to other, more trustworthy feeders.

Even if you don’t think you’ve forgotten where you put the feeders, it may be difficult to get as many birds back as before.

If you want to keep your returning feathered friends, you must keep the bird feeders stocked with food.

Go elsewhere if neglected

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Keep in mind that forgetting to replenish feeders isn’t always the fault of the wild birds; sometimes it’s your own doing.

If you want birds to continue using your yard as a consistent feeding spot, it’s best to provide food for them on a daily basis or to never let the feeders run dry.

And as I’ve stated before, if you’re already having trouble luring birds to your yard, you’re in for a tough slog trying to lure them back.

Once a flock of wild birds comes to depend on a new area, they will begin to arrive there on schedule every day, just as they would have in the past.

If you have a classic bird platform feeder or a bird feeding station with various feeders, the birds may return once your neighbors have ceased replenishing their feeders.


Indeed, wild birds in the United States that use bird feeders in backyards do have memory, although a short one.

Keep in mind that the limited size of a bird’s brain means that its memory must rely on other factors.

However, it’s safe to state that wild birds do remember the location of feeders, and if they stop coming for any reason, they will eventually forget about it.

The most typical cause is because the homeowner or whoever is responsible for refilling the bird feeder either forgets to do so or just doesn’t care enough to do so.

At that point, you might notice a complete absence of bird activity in your yard, as the birds would have moved on to another residence.

Studies have proven that wild birds have memories, and one of the things they can accomplish with their memories is locate bird feeders.

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