There may be external factors that prevent birds from visiting your feeder, but for the time being, the best thing you can do is provide a peaceful and undisturbed environment near your feeder.
One possible explanation for why birds are ignoring your feeder is that the species most common in your yard aren’t the kind that would feed from it. In a similar vein, different species of birds have very specific dietary requirements, and you may be feeding them the wrong thing. Ready to accept any and all birds with any and all common bird food while feeding them from bird feeders.
When you’ve made every effort to attract ordinary backyard birds to your bird feeder, it can be frustrating when none show up.
In light of this, there is undoubtedly more you can do in order to cater to specific bird species that may require more effort on your part – since it is an ongoing process to get your bird feeder configured exactly right with varying dietary needs.
Even if just one or two of these seems directly relevant to your situation, you should check out my extensive list of actionable top ideas for attracting birds to feeders.
The location of a bird feeder in the yard is crucial for attracting birds, since a feeder that is hidden from view will go unused.
A better place for bird feeders than tucked away in the shade of trees is out in the open, where birds can see them but humans can’t.
It’s important to keep the surrounding environment in mind, so if birds aren’t visiting your bird feeder pole, try hanging a suet feeder in a tree or scattering seeds on the ground.
In any case, it’s probable that all your efforts won’t pay off unless you already have backyard birds in your region to begin with.
Birds won’t use a feeder unless the food they need is always accessible within. Also, be sure the type of bird food you put out is appropriate for the local avian population.
The point is that different bird species have different requirements; in some cases, no birds will use a feeder, while in others, many will.
Feeders beyond reach
The absence of birds in the vicinity may be the primary cause of their failure to use your bird feeders.
Even though birds occasionally fly over or land in the yard, this may not be indicative of a high bird population in the region. Birds may still be less likely to visit bird feeders if there isn’t a significant bird population in the immediate vicinity.
Birds frequent feeders because they attract a large number of birds at once, and because the birds have learned to rely on them.
For this reason, any bird noise or singing during peaceful periods can further attract birds to a bird feeder.
If your feeders are too high up, the birds won’t come to your yard or the area around it.
It’s possible to modify this with enough time and effort, but in general, luring birds to a brand-new feeder out of thin air is a tall order.
You can start attracting birds to your area by planting trees or flowering plants; these will provide a lush, green feeding ground where the birds can forage for insects, or, if fruiting plants are also put, a source of fruit for the birds to eat.
Limited bird food options
To attract the birds you have in your yard at the moment to your bird feeder, you may be unknowingly providing the wrong kind of food to these birds.
Birds of a certain species may not be able to eat the peanuts in the yard since they have very specific dietary needs that aren’t met by the peanuts.
The situation is complicated by the presence of birds that should eat the appropriate bird food but do not because they have adapted to the presence of bird feeders.
If you have a lot of bluebirds in your yard, but only the kind of birds that typically eat from bird feeders, you could find that the nuts you put out go to waste. In fact, bluebirds may only be able to reach a feeder or dish of any kind if it has an open platform on top.
Although larger birds like blue jays and northern cardinals are willing to try new types of bird food, the feeders used to store that food are out of their reach.
If you want to attract the greatest number of different species of birds, you should put out a platform bird feeder, which can hold a variety of different kinds of bird food.
To attract the greatest number of birds, spread seed mixes around the grass. The vast majority of birds eat seeds, and many of them only forage on the ground.
For example, if you have a bird feeder with an open top, the birds are more likely to eat peanuts, whereas dried or live mealworms will be devoured without fail if you also offer them.
Choose suet cakes or fat balls, or suet nuggets or pellets, if you want, and place them in a mound on the ground or a perch to attract wild birds.
In order to entice a wide variety of birds, it’s important to provide them with as many feeder options as possible, ranging from those that are completely open to the more limiting, hanging enclosed feeders.
Untouched until seen
In all likelihood, the reason why birds are ignoring your feeder is that they can’t see it.
Your bird feeders should be placed in a prominent area of your yard at first, with as few as possible visible on a Shepherd’s hook or as many as possible hanging from a bird feeding station.
A large number of passing birds are required before feeders will be employed. You’ll need a lot of birds to notice your feeders if you want even a small percentage of the local avian population to take advantage of the food you’ve put out for them.
Bird feeders should be placed where they will be exposed to direct sunlight and wind.
Wildlife at bird feeders can be relied upon to be in a setting analogous to their natural habitat, with a peaceful, secluded location that is within their capacities.
Don’t worry too much about how often a bird feeder is used; the birds who do use them will make the most of the opportunity in due time.
Then you can attract only ground-feeding birds by putting out a ground feeder on your yard.
You can attract additional birds to your yard by hanging a bird feeder from a tree if one is already established there, or by moving an overgrown tree from a neighbor’s yard into your own.
Place feeders in areas frequented by the birds in their natural habitats rather than expecting the birds to travel to your feeders.
Bird feeders in too busy area
Let nature take its course now that you’ve located the right site in your yard for all types of bird feeders, packed with many different kinds of bird feeder food, to attract all species.
Now is the time to be quiet, since you or your family or even your next-door neighbor may be driving the birds away from the bird feeders.
Birds won’t bother checking out a brand-new feeder if there are people or dogs in the area.
Since you can’t go around checking on the feeders to see whether the birds have been using them or if any of the food has been eaten in the short time it’s been up, you’ll just have to be patient and hope for the best.
Despite your best efforts to maintain silence, the birds may avoid your feeders if you make too much noise.
If there are a lot of birds in your region, they will likely visit a bird feeder; all you need to do is place it in a calm, undisturbed place where they won’t be bothered.
Therefore, if cats or other pests frequently visit a bird feeder, the birds won’t either.
Variations in bird feeder use can also be influenced by the time of year. If you want birds to visit your feeders in the dead of winter, make sure they aren’t buried under a foot of snow.
Similarly, bird feeder food used throughout the summer can begin to deteriorate much sooner in such hot conditions, necessitating frequent cleaning and replacement.
While the bulk of my tips are aimed at the common backyard birds, this is also good advice for attracting hummingbirds to a feeder, which are only active from spring to summer in most states.
To summarize up
When a bird feeder has been properly adapted to the birds’ needs, but yet no birds are coming to feed, it can be very irritating.
It’s possible that the few birds in your yard who eat from the ground are going to find your bird feeders to be incompatible with their diet.
Afterwards, you’d have to empty some bird food from the feeders and toss it on the ground, or if you prefer, place some bird food on top of a platform ground feeder.
Birds won’t eat from your hand-made feeders if they don’t contain the same species of food that they would eat in the wild. Since birds eat a wide variety of items in the wild, the food hung from bird feeders can be very similar.
Maybe birds aren’t eating from feeders because they can’t find bird food that’s similar to what they consume in the wild.
It is important to attract as many wild birds as possible to your bird feeders to ensure their continued use.
For the time being, it’s best to put bird feeders somewhere visible from the street; in the future, mounting them on the backyard fence, a wall, a tree, or the ground may prove to be essential.
A bird feeder may not attract enough birds to sustain itself if it only attracts a small number of visitors in the yard or when birds periodically fly past.
If you have a lot of birds visiting your yard, it may be because you’re giving them the wrong food. Similarly, a bird feeder won’t be used by any birds that can’t get it.
Once and for all, birds will avoid your bird feeders if you place them in a highly trafficked, highly noisy area.