Why have birds almost totally stopped coming to our feeders? They were prolific 4-5 yrs ago but have steadily declined. Seed/nuts clean, changed regularly. Feeders hanging under crab apple tree. Now only Great and Long Tailed tits, occasional Bluetit.

Even Robins much rarer.     We do have large oak trees nearby - with squirrels and a Jay or two.  They were always there tho so why the dramatic decline in birds now?    No Goldfinches at all now, lots before, and the cheeky Woodpecker has vanished. He used to stay for ages on the feeders - even fed off our window feeder!    
our recently acquired bird Bath has never bn used.   I've tried hanging a feeder in bushes nearby instead of under the tree.  No result. 

  • Sorry no one has replied. I don't normally get involved with bird feeding questions as I'm not a fan of 24x7x365 supplementary feeding. As it's raining outside and no one has responded (partly as the site is very quiet these days), thought I'd bump up your post to the top by replying.

    Mild Autumn. Also, Autumn tends to provide most natural food sources for species that do come to feeders. e.g. blue tits here are eating berries and blackfly amongst other things. Goldfinches are about but eating teasel seeds rather than using niger feeders. LTT's do keep cropping up on empty feeders, but seem to be managing anyway.

    Many birds visiting feeders are passing through or resident only for part of the year. Again, using goldies as an example, we were getting up to a dozen at a time a couple of months ago. They've clearly moved on, but still getting a pair visiting for the teasel.

    Food isn't all that keeps birds in a garden. There will be other reasons for birds disappearing. e.g. individuals being predated by cats, hawks, magpies etc. Some species are in long term declines e.g. chaffinches, greenfinches etc that were amongst the most regular bird food species in the past.

    I am sure when Winter does come, you will get birds in your garden.

  • It is difficult to say and I offer the following comments in good faith. No amount of food offering will help if there is not the habitat in the surrounding areas to support birds. If you are urban take a slow walk around your neighbourhood. Have front gardens lost hedges and plants and been tarmac'd over? A small privet hedge can provide a potential roost site over winter and a nesting site in summer. What has happened to the back gardens? have they had major makeovers with shrubs and fruit trees removed to make way for trampolines and decking or the newest horror artificial grass (that stuff should be banned).
    If you are rural have there been changes in farming practice? or perhaps green and brown field sites lost to development.
    Mature oak trees are great for providing all sorts of insect food but they are not so great for nesting in.
    If birds cannot safely roost in dry protected areas over the winter no amount of supplementary feeding will see them through to spring to breed.
    It's really complex and many factors will feed into the problem.

    Cin J