no birds coming to my feeders, help :(


i have been trying to feed birds again for the past month. the last time we fed birds, i honestly cant remember the year, it's been years or even decades. but in recent times i have come to care more and more about animals and upon learning about declines to bird life (and all other non-human life) on this planet, and felt the need to want to start feeding them again. plus, it brought a natural pleasure in me when i was young. it was lovely seeing the birds eat in our garden. back then, we threw leftover food in the garden (roti, a form of indian bread). they were the small brown garden birds, mainly. this was back in the early 90s.

but now, our garden has changed. we no longer have grass and pavement (last time birds mainly fed on the pavement). its all pavement. in fact our garden is worse this time, ugly. unfortunately its not mine strictly to do as i please, its my parents. they said they feel too old to be mowing grass (sounds like an excuse to me).

but i do hear birds sing in the morning. one neighbour a few doors down has a tree, and i can hear birds sing from rooftops too. i live in your bog standard terraced house. my location is in gravesend, in kent. on other streets on the way to work i can hear slightly higher concentrations of bird singing, and in other areas, not so much.

i done some research and have tried feeding ground feeder birds and i also got a bird feeder to hang food for birds. i have been trying this for a few weeks. but not one single bird has even come to our garden! i hear them singing, but they dont come. it makes me feel so sad. i place mixed seed in a tray every morning to ensure it's on a clean surface and not on the ground where it might get mouldy. i change the nuts in my feeder weekly. nothing. when can i start seeing results?

what am i doing wrong? what solutions can i try?

here is a pic of my garden with the tray of seed and the suspended feeder of nuts:

here is a link to the food i got.

seeds (mixed for variety for the birds):

nuts (i made sure i got the oiled ones):

unfortunately i cant remove the broken bricks shown in the garden as my dad wants to use them for part of building an extension to the house next door that we rent out. i'm also ashamed to say next door they used to have a beautiful garden with a tree but my dad has gotten rid of all of this and its just basic grass not even cared for now. its so depressing.


  • Hi AJ welcome to the community.
    I think one thing you can do and that is get a feeding station so the feeders are lower down, I don't think the birds will use that one high up on the line.
    Once you have a feeding station try just one feeder with a small amount of Sunflower Hearts in it, don't fill it up so it wont go to waste.
    A lot of us find Peanuts don't get used and Hearts are the favourite for a lot of birds.

    My Flickr photos

  • Hello AJ, such a shame that you can hear the birds but none are coming to your garden. As Alan has said firstly remove the feeder from the line, it is too high up and very exposed. As all there is in the garden is concrete, you need to try and establish some form of greenery. The birds like to have something to perch on and to hide among for either shelter or to get away from any intruders. All I can suggest is either lift the odd paving stone and plant something or gets lots of pots. You can fill the bottom with some odd broken stones ( from that piles in the picture) and fill with compost, you can get many different types of things that will grow in pots quite quickly. The other thing you could try is long pots, when planted up, place them along the fences and you could train and attach the greenery to the fence. Honeysuckle for example. Good luck.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  • Hello AJ,
    Don't let it get you down. Birds are everywhere, and they'll come to your garden too. Just a few changes and some patience needed perhaps.
    I'd agree with Alan and Catlady: try the seed feeder lower down. And I think Catlady's advice about getting (somehow) some cover/greenery in is a very good point. Birds need somewhere to perch; to wait while other birds are eating those sunflower hearts; to hide when they're disturbed. If you can't plant, like Catlady says try pots.
    The only thing I'd add is that if your garden is visited by cats, be sure that you don't, accidentally, set up traps, in the sense that bird feeders are situated next to cat hiding places.
    Keep trying -
  • AJ,
    Just a brief anecdote that might help you.
    In our garden, we have (among other feeders) two identical nut feeders. They are suspended at identical heights and are, perhaps, 100 feet apart. One is almost never used; the other we refill regularly.
    The almost-never-used feeder is hanging from a pavillion in the middle of an open area. The only cover for birds is climbing plants growing on each of the four corners. And in winter, there are no leaves. The nearest bushes are, say, 40 feet away.
    The always-used feeder is surrounded by evergreens (yew, laurels, a cedar...)
    Now, of course, you're not going to grow yews or a cedar in your garden, but I hope it shows just how much birds prefer cover.
    Just, really, supporting what the other posters have said.
    All the best -
  • thanks for this.

    i have an additional question. how often should i change the seeds on the ground and the nuts in the feeder?
    i change the seeds everyday and the nuts once per week.

    so far, no bird has even step foot in my garden at all. i hear them singing from a distance though.

    i try to help them because i know they are declining due to habitat loss and this is my way of reaching out to them to ensure they can eat and survive.

    i thought the bird feeder on the upper line would be a good thing because it's in clear sight for the birds to see? there is a neighbour a few doors down that has a tree in their garden and i guess may have some birds in it
  • Hi AJ, if you are having no bird life at all in the garden, I suggest you only put a small amount of seed and nuts. [1/4 fill feeder, or less], no point in wasting the food. If the nuts get wet or lie out too long they will start to shrivel and turn black, they can harm the birds [with toxins] so they should definitely be thrown away. As long as the seed looks dry, it should be okay. Have you tried some sunflower hears, they love them. Maybe you could buy a small quantity and try filling the feeder with those instead of the seed, just to see. I really do think it is because there is no plants, bushes,trees for the birds, that is stopping them visiting. Good luck

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  • hi everyone, look what came in my garden yesterday! and today!

    i noticed in recent weeks that my tray was empty when i got back. now during easter break i am able to quickly check what is causing it. at first i thought it was the wind. now i think this bird regularly comes to my garden.

    a part of me is happy that at least it's feeding a bird. but is this merely a pigeon? i was hoping to feed the small brown garden birds i hear singing. they still havent come to my garden.

    i'm still looking into trying to get some green in the garden even if its pots. i tried to explain to my family about the importance of having birds and greenery but it seems they simply dont care. and yesterday my neighbour start cutting branches from his tree - the same tree i normally hear birds singing from

  • Hi AJ, well at least it is a start for you, the rest may still come, especially if you get some greenery there. As for the neighbour cutting back from the tree, if there are birds nesting, that is an offence. No disturbance is allowed whatsoever in trees and bushes where they are nesting, that is why this is done in the back end and before they start to nest in the spring. Good luck,and keep watching.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  • Hello again AJ.

    It sounds like something of a battle, both with your family and with the neighbour. Perhaps you might need to ask yourself if this is the battle you need, or want, to fight, and here and now.

    Regarding your photo, to some it is 'merely a pidgeon'. To another pidgeon though, it's everything one could hope to meet.

    Bravo. Glad to hear that you have your first visitor.

    All the best -


  • thanks for the replies.

    the exact same bird has been coming everyday to our garden now. he scoops up the seeds then goes. it's a pidgeon i have learnt.

    my concern is from my research - that pidgeons can be pests. plus, if he quickly eats up the seeds there's nothing left for the garden birds - my 'target' so to speak, because i always hear them singing in the morning - of whom still have not even set foot in my garden.

    should i stop the seeds as the pidgeon is coming everyday?

    what to garden birds like to eat? i'm referring to birds like this one:


    also my nuts have not been eaten on - i dont think that feeder isworking. i'll lower it down abit. i have another feeder with seeds in it, whereby it has little stickson the side for the bird to 'sit' on i guess, as they eat. how good are those? won't the seeds get soggy from the rain?