Bird Barn logo
Bird feeding on window feeder

How to attract birds to window feeder

Don't be to hard on yourself if birds are not taking to your window feeder, the location alone can be intimidating for birds at first but they will take to it later.

You can attract wild birds to use the window feeder by first removing all other food resources from inside the garden; those making the window feeder the only source of bird food. Use there favourite feed such as peanuts, seeds and fat balls, well using bright colours to attract them to feed at the window.

Before using a window feeder, sit back and watch the habits of the wild birds for a couple of weeks and see how they behave around the hanging bird feeders.

You will want to observe how they perch and what food they use the most.

What you will probably find is they will stand on a perch if its the seed feeder, well clinging onto the mesh on the peanut feeder.

The design ultimately forces birds to adapt, depending on the bird feeder they're using.

What you should take away from this behaviour is how your choice of window bird feeder is designed, where they will perch and what foods are suitable for it.

Don't take the manufacturer's design as a certainty, it may be faulty design that would deter birds, rather than attract.

You should go for small window feeder that will attract small garden birds only; Blue Tits, Coal Tits, Great Tits, Robins, Sparrows and Wrens are all possible to feed on it.

Well a larger window feeder is perfectly acceptable, but know they will only encourage larger, intrusive birds, those deterring the delicate birds you'd really want to feed.

Make sure the area around the feeding compartment is clear for them to flap there wings, well a healthy supply of seeds and peanuts can be added to the tray.

Use there favourite food

When filling up the single or double feeding compartment lay out there favourite foods that would attract the widest range of small garden bird species.

That way you could attract all the Tits, including Robins and Wrens.

Use a heap of peanuts on one section, with a heap of seeds on the other; all of which are a favourite with small garden birds.

Further to that, you could use a couple of fat balls which are probably the most favourite food type for all species.

Well window bird feeders are attached to the window with suction cups only, you shouldn't fill the window feeder up so much as to put strain on the cups.

So keep the fat balls, seeds and peanut heaps to a small quantity only at one time.

Remove other bird feeders

If wild birds have food readily available in all other bird feeders in your garden, then this much used feeder would be a preferred choice, and probably the safest in there eyes.

To entice them to feed out of the window bird feeder you will need to remove all food sources from the garden, with the only option to feed at your window.

Well we won't normally encourage the removal of bird feeders from your garden, for a short period is fine, just as long as you remember to put them back after trying.

Attracting birds to the window feeder relies heavily on food, so always keep your bird bath or drinking water bowl in place at all times.

Out of your hands are bird feeders setup in your neighbours garden, so if that gets used often they may chose stay next door.

Its only when they've ran out of food there, they could hop over to your garden and try feeding at the window.

Make it bright, easy to see

Often window feeders are made from a light, perspex clear plastic in a small size.

Its this material along with the smaller size that makes the window bird feeder small when fixed to a large open window.

Add to the fact the clear plastic will blend in with the glass, it could be extremely hard to see in the eyes of the birds.

So make it big, make it bright...

You can do just that by using up all colourful bird feed such as mixed seeds that brightens up the window feeder.

If this is not enough, you can go one better by hanging off additional fat balls in orange netting on any available hook, nook or cranny on the feeder.

Design of window feeder a problem

In your attempt to get small birds to feed at the window, have you ever thought about the overall design of the feeder stopping them from eating.

One major thing a bird needs to feed is a place to perch.

And well window feeders are more or less made from smooth, clear plastic, it doesn't make for a good perch on the edges due to the thin plastic sheet used.

To overcome this make sure your window feeder has a lip that surrounds the compartment where the feed is inserted.

Ideally you would want a feeding area where birds have at least three sides to feed from, well a one sided, restrictive feeder may prevent them from flying away in an otherwise crowded window feeder.

Well this surround would also act as a perch, and additional purpose built perch may be attached which can only help the birds feed with ease.

Be patient, they will come

If birds are still not attracted to your colourful, decorative masterpiece of a window feeder by now then you may need to just wait longer.

Its not a usual feeding area for wild birds in the garden as the reflection in the glass could deter or scare them away.

Patience is needed on your part for up to 2 to 3 weeks, only then it might be a good idea to move the window feeder to another spot on the glass well waiting patiently again.

If you have a supply of fresh bird feed at the window with no other food sources close by, birds will take to it eventually.

Though bare in mind, you must have a steady stream of small birds visiting your garden already, they won't just come out of thin air just to feed at the window.

Keep still inside home

Have you ever thought about the activity inside the home that might deter birds visiting your window feeder, well it can for even the tamest, friendly wild birds.

Blue Tits, Robins and Sparrows are not shy about eating off feeders, even those close to a busy, noisy window.

So if they're not using the window feeder either, just maybe the activity inside the home is keeping them away.

If you have the feeder on a window with a TV facing out, the flashing lights and moving pictures could deter them, likewise any pets and children.

If you can, move the feeder to a quieter spot where the activity is minimal, but still providing you a clear viewing spot to watch the birds come and go.


If you have a regular supply of your favourite small garden birds visiting your garden, then it shouldn't be to difficult to attract the birds to feed at the window.

You can do this by removing all bird food within your control, namely the bird feeders filled with peanuts and seeds, or any feed left under the bird table.

Make the otherwise hard-to-see small window feeder easier to view by making it bright and colourful, with mixed seeds and the use of fat balls in orange netting.

If you're still having issues with the birds using the feeder, by patience, this is a new experience for both them and you, and all new things need time to settle.

In your attempt to attract the wild birds to the window, where you position the bird feeder on the window will be telling later on, but hopefully they take to it right away.

Finally, don't forget to refill the bird feeders or hang them back up after you've attempted to bring birds to the window.

Its a common mistake and a vital one as the birds will go else where with no continuous supply of feed.

That goes for the water to, always make sure the drinking water is always available, you never have to remove the water supply to get them to feed.

Share this article: