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Marsh Tit using seed feeder

Birds NOT using feeder

Why birds are not using your bird feeder can be contributed to many factors, more importantly, a new bird feeder setup takes longer to attract birds than an older setup.

If birds are not using the feeder its time to make changes; move the feeder around the garden until it gains traction, if that doesn't work bring in more feeders with a wider variety of food. Keep the garden free from animals and children, as a quiet garden will succeed in the end.

Its normal for birds not to use a new feeder at first, and perfectly acceptable to stop using an old setup if its not regularly topped up with fresh food.

If you're here due to birds not visiting your current feeding station setup, then you have work to do to bring them into your garden.

If you are here because your new feeder is not bringing birds to it, then you're in the right place, as will guide you in the right direction.

The best advice we can offer you before moving on; always use more than one feeder, so if its one hanging feeder you've got, then you have a task on your hands.

To overcome this issue, bring in more hanging bird feeders for use with seeds, peanuts and fat balls the most important bird feed groups.

Where you hang the feeders will have its tell on the birds, with a new location making a big difference if you don't get any bites.

Standalone hanging bird feeder is hard to spot by birds as they can't smell it out ...they're not sharks or dogs.

Its time to make that one feeder into three or four.

And well a centre positioned bird feeding station on a stand or buried into the ground would make the best possible location for the feeder to hang; the all important multiple brackets for hanging are a life saver.

So now no reason to fix a bracket to a wall or fence post.

If you've tried all this over a period of weeks, then hold on for a couple of months. If nothing has happened, then look to yourself.

Busy gardens regularly occupied with kids and pets will keep wild birds at bay, and so would you if you make a lot of noise near the window where the feeder is located.

Make sure the setup is in a quiet spot in the garden, preferably further away from the house and always make sure there are near by trees, shrubs, hedgerow or plantation for the birds to duck and dive out of.

Don't be fussy with the types of birds you want visiting, everyone wants the common small garden birds dropping by, but you will ultimately attract larger birds.

If larger, troublesome birds are visiting the garden, then smaller ones might follow suite, so they have there benefits.


To get birds to feed on your current bird feeder really requires a location that is suitable for the birds, and not for you.

One thing you might of done scouting the spot for your feeder is positioning it in an area that is easily viewable by you, close to the living room window.

This can do one of two things; first it might pull the feeder to far away from the nearby shrubs and plantation birds require for cover, or...

Second, you've pull the feeder to close to the window or front door.

Its easy to get carried away finding the perfect location in your garden for the feeder, but in the end, its the birds that will determine whether its a suitable spot or not.

To get off to a good start make sure its within 3 metres from a nearby plantation, preferably near a hedgerow that lines down the one side of the garden.

Better still, less then 1 metre should provide better cover as they feed.

Using neighbours feeder

Why aren't birds coming to my feeder is probably to do with them using the bird feeding setup in your next door neighbours garden, or perhaps a few doors down.

You see for a bird to continuously feed in your garden you must always supply them food almost every day, or at least keep food topped up in feeders.

Failing to refill feeders on a regular basis will result in the birds finding new feeding grounds - this could be a neighbour or the next street over.

If the neighbours do in deed have a blooming bird feeding station on a base, then do one better by providing more hanging bird feeders, along with a greater variety of food.

Be patience, losing wild birds to another feeder will eventually come to an end when those people fail to refill there's, so they're bound to come back to you sooner or later.

Next time your walk the dog or pass by the neighbours garden be sure to checkout there garden feeder located, what types of bird feeders they're using, and if you can, what feed they're have topped up in them.

With this information you could replicate it in your own garden. What's good for them is good for you right? And there's no harm in getting inspiration hey...

Wrong bird food

We can say for certain all species of wild birds prefer a varied food group, so if you don't provide nearest to what they like in the wild, then you've failed before you've begun.

Always have a supply of clear plastic tube seed feeders for mix varieties, and a mesh peanut feeder for all types of nuts, not just peanuts.

These two food types should attract the biggest variety of common small garden birds, or at least bring in the larger birds to feed.

Furthermore, go one better by leaving out fat balls and, or suet blocks in the appropriate feeders, along with a helping of dried mealworms for wild birds.

No feeder is required for mealworms, just heap them up on the wooden, fly-through bird table or pile them up high on a fence or wall to grab there attention.

Don't go to for beyond attracting birds to your garden with other foods they're not used to.

More the merrier

How long before birds come to a new feeder or to a current setup depends, and that depends on how big and grand your bird feeding setup is.

Are we simply talking about a single hanging seed or peanut feeder on a tree branch or setup on a wall bracket, because alone is difficult to get any attention.

To bring wild birds to your garden, and especially those gardens that don't get regular visits from wildlife, you'll task is made harder with a small, hard to see feeders.

Instead, you have to make it big, colourful and simply spectacular, hence the complete bird feeding station you can buy with multiple feeders, trays and water bowls.

If the passing wild birds can see it, they will use it.

Wild birds are not like dogs, they can't sniff out food until there are nearby it, like humans.

So its up to you to grab there attention as they fly over your garden. Make the feeding area big and easy to find, preferably setup in the centre of the garden, out of cover of trees, shrubs and general plantation, but still close by.

If you're using one or two hanging feeders, consider using more, and if possible group them together in the garden so the birds can gather in one area.

Birds feel safe well feeding in numbers, which is why you always see them scrapping around the feeders in the morning.

Sense predators nearby

Have you ever thought that wild birds are not coming to your garden because those damn neighbours have recently got a new cat, those keeping the birds away.

Well, you're probably right, the presence of cats near regular bird feeding spots is enough to keep them away permanently.

And well this is a problem, there're ways around it.

If its applies to you, move the feeding station or hanging feeders to the front or back garden where cats don't venture to.

If this is not possible then keep the side you regularly get visits from birds, only you'll have to change tack how you present food to birds.

If you're using a number of individual hanging feeders or just the one, then fix a bracket high up on the house brick work, and hang them there.

The height alone should keep birds coming back well keeping them safe and out of reach of cats on the ground.

If you're near a wooded area then you probably have foxes or badges keeping birds away, though the ideas outlined above still applies to such gardens.

Children in garden

Oh yes, child regularly occupy your garden so the idea of birds feeding well children are present is virtually impossible.

Wild birds won't visit your garden as children play.

However, birds will venture into your garden in the early morning before kids go out to play, so make sure the feeders are refilled for the early hours only.

As the kids start to spill outdoors the birds will stay away until the next morning.

However, if you know times the children won't be around, make sure you're ready to get visitation from birds during the quieter times.

Whether they're in school or visiting friends or family, be prepared and make sure the feeders are setup and ready.

One thing to note; if kids regular play in the garden almost every day, this might keep birds away as they become used to the busy garden during certain hours.

So don't be surprise if they only come back for the usual, reliable early hours.


Has well as kids, let's no forget pets that frequent your garden on a regular basis.

And well we've mentioned a neighbours pet or your own cat defeating the purpose of setting up a feeder, dogs will keep birds away.

at least among them, dogs love to chase birds away at every opportunity.

Well its unavoidable letting the dog out in the garden to pee, you should make sure the coast is clear so they don't run after the birds.

Wild birds will come a custom to this scare, and would prefer to stay away then risk getting caught by the family dog.

And of course once they've gone, it can be hard to entice them back.

The way around this is like we said, only wait until its all clear before opening the door to let them out.

Takes time

New bird feeder, no birds... then no problem. Its perfectly acceptable for birds to take there time to visit a garden with a new bird feeder.

Garden birds don't visit the ones that never have a supply of food in feeders or natural feed from the ground or in shrubs.

So well a new feeder is the best option to tempt birds to visit, it will take time.

Well birds are happy to eat alone at the feeder, they feel safe in large groups; so when more birds visit, other will follow the commotion.


Old or new, big or small, it takes time for birds to start using anyone's bird feeder, with location and feed still playing a big role.

Busy gardens with kids and teens regularly present will keep the birds at bay, well a quiet garden with just the gentle breeze of the wind are perfect conditions.

If the birds are not using your feeder, look to your own pets with cats causing the most issues, well dogs often just like to chase and scare them away.

If you're clear of all this, then just maybe, its the kids and pets in other houses.

However, if you feel you're free of these common issues, then its time to make an upgrade on a standalone feeder by bringing in more feeders.

Birds will only notice the feeder if its big and easy to see from above.

And if its big, make sure you have a variety of food in the feeders to attract the widest species of birds possible.

Well its not pleasing to attract invasive birds, its those birds that might attract the smaller, kinder birds we often want visiting; Blue, Great and Coal Tits, Robins and Wrens.

One final note; throw mealworms, seeds and peanuts over the lawn to make sure ground feeding birds can eat, and not just the birds that use feeders.

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