Bird Barn logo
Robin, Great Tit and Chaffinch perched on wall with seed and mealworm mix

What time of day do birds feed

Never is there a time in the day wild birds feed out in nature or those that visit your garden, ever stop feeding - its only nighttime or low lighting that can hinder their feeding.

What time of day birds feed is soon as it get light out first thing in the morning. In Spring through Summertime, wild birds will begin eating at 7:00am. While in Autumn through Wintertime its later in the morning - say 8:00am to 9:00am. Common garden birds are not nocturnal so are unable to see in poor lighting.

To view common garden birds feeding at your bird feeding station, would be an early start for you as it can begin at 7:00am, or earlier.

In Winter you have an extra hour in bed as they begin to feed from 8:00am, and onwards.

No definite time what time wild birds feed, but as a rule of thumb, birds such as Robins, Tits and Sparrows can not see at nighttime - while they are going to struggle to see just the same in low lighting, due to cloud cover.

Not only will bird feeders NOT be used at nighttime then, you rarely will see a common garden bird fly at night - as they are unable to see.

Earliest time for birds to feed in the morning then is 7:00am or thereabout, in Spring or Summer only - or up to an hour later in Autumn through Winter.

Early morning is busiest time

Common garden birds are not nocturnal creatures, its therefore not possible to see them arrive so early in the morning, as its still dark out.

Birds will begin to arrive at the bird feeders, or begin their ramblings out in nature to source food, as soon as it becomes light out

Low lighting is a possibility still but do expect to see them early in the morning.

Busiest time is when the earliest morning is at its brightest, then you can start to hear bird songs more while viewing a feeding frenzy out on the bird feeding station.

Busy time then would be around 8:00am to 9:00am during the Autumn/Winter time, but low lighting caused by rain clouds can delay feeding time.

Spring through Summer time is when you'd expect to hear noisy birds outside your window, with them arriving as early as 6:00am, or 7:00am in my case.

Fizzle off mid morning

Out in nature, expect wild birds who don't use bird feeders of any kind to proceed with their normal habit of feeding off the ground or up in trees.

But for small common garden birds who do indeed rely more on bird feeders setup in the garden - to begin to fizzle off during mid to late morning.

What a wild bird who feeds on seeds, nuts or fat balls can consume all what they need in one sitting - when the time allows it.

Its therefore possible to see later arrivals turn up mid morning to noon.

When times are hard during harsh winter conditions or when we experience a heat wave, food sources are normally dried up or died off.

Its possible then to see them return later in the day, approximately 12:00pm through to 2:00pm at the busiest of times to feed properly once again.

Returning throughout day

Of course its never possible to see wild birds arrive only once in the morning to never be seen again until the next day.

Birds are going to eat out in nature or arrive in your garden to feed what you are offering them throughout the day.

It could be returning visitors from the same morning but later in the day is going to bring new arrivals seeking a fresh source of food.

Once the busiest feeding time is over then - 7:00am through to 10:00am - expect them to return late into the afternoon.

Season dependant mind you, as it gets darker in late october time as clocks go forward, so the numbers will reduce between 3:00pm to 4:00pm.

Height of Summertime can see wild birds feed up to mid evening, in lower numbers mind.

Fade away in evening

Common garden birds who feed in our garden can not feed at night, because they are unable to see.

Not through choice but its in their nature that low lighting or nighttime makes it hard for their vision - with the exception of birds of prey such as Owls.

As the day turns to night then the number of birds will soon go quiet, as they head back to their nest before its too dark to see anything.

Low lighting must turn brighter before they can feed early in the morning, much so when the light fades in the afternoon or even, they cannot feed anymore.

What time of day birds feed can be noticeable by how noisy it gets outside your window in the morning - which is usually a tell of them turning up to bird feeders.

To conclude time of day

Do expect garden birds to turn up at your bird feeders as soon as night turns to day, in low light is possible but the brighter it becomes, they begin to feed in numbers.

In Spring through Summer time, 7:00am is normally the time wild birds arrive at my bird feeding station, so that could apply to you.

And in this time of the day the numbers are far larger, with more bird species to spot as the feed in the morning.

In Autumn going into Winter though, numbers are seen less on the bird feeders in the morning - as they must arrive an hour or so later to feed - as the sun comes up after 8:00am.

So in Spring through Summer expect an arrival of 7:00am at your bird feeders - so this would apply to bird species who feed in nature.

Likewise, expect wild birds to arrive in your garden at 8:00am through to 9:00am in Autumn through Winter - as low lighting brightens up later.

Its then possible to see the same birds come back to your bird feeders later to feed again, while new arrivals will continue to turn up throughout the day.

Feeding time then fizzles off mid morning before it gets busy again around noon.

But as it gets dark early again in Autumn through Winter, feeding stops as soon has it gets dark out. While in Spring/Summer time can see them feed - in lower numbers numbers mind you - up until 9:00pm in the afternoon.

Share this article: