How to get birds to come to your feeder


I have three  bird feeders in my garden.  One on a pole with a tray at the top, hanging fat balls and peanuts.   A kind of bird feeder house designed for little birds with food inside and niger seed  meal worms and mixed seed hanging from it and a third large table on which I put suet pellets and meal worms.  All feeders are  in a clear space with  bamboo, a bay tree and hedges nearby although I do live in a city and the garden is small.

The only birds I get are pigeons, jackdaws and crows.  The table and tray are cleared by these.  While I can see other  smaller birds flying around, they don't use the feeders.  Eacvh year in the winter particularly the food goes off and just gets thrown away. The berries from my cotoneaster and pyracantha are untouched too.  I did have some sparrows in the summer when the pole feeder was in the corner between two hedges and with a tree immediately above but I had to move it  to the patio because the seed fell on the soil and started to grow and these have now stopped using the feeders.  How can I get birds to use the feeder?

  • Hi Aflie
    When you had the pole feeder near the trees did you have a feeder with a tray attached to the bottom to prevent spillage, if not you could try a single feeder with a bottom tray with sunflower hearts in it.
    Most birds want cover nearby to dart into when they perceive a threat.

    My Flickr photos

  • Hi Alfie

    I invested in feeders with a guardian cage and tray underneath to deter squirrels. That has worked. I still get the squirrels in the garden but they can’t get at the bird food except for small amounts that miss the tray that fall to the ground. And it’s the same with the larger birds magpies, black birds pigeons, and the like they hoover up the small scraps that fall to the ground. This leaves the feeders for the smaller birds only. I feed sunflower hearts with mixed bird seed and peanuts. I also have a bird bath that all the birds use to drink and bathe. Having the guardian cage over the feeders may  encourage the smaller birds to your garden. If you go down this route be patient as they usually take some time to get used to them. Good luck