Attracting birds to feeder

Hi all

I am looking for suggestions on how best to attract birds to my feeder. I have had the feeder up for a year and as yet have had no visits that I have witnessed. There is plenty of birdlife in the surrounding area and my garden is bordered on the outside by trees at the back. I have a few starlings that visit and eat from the lawn and also a pair of blackbirds that visit regularly as I believe they have a nest nearby with chicks as I see them gather worms.

I think possibly my lack of success so far might be down to two reasons:

1. My two young kids that play in the garden - although they are not there during the day as they are at creche and school - and not in the garden on a daily basis.

2. My neighbour at the back seems to have a few well established feeders (mine is a newer house) with many regular daily visitors. Obviously I wouldn't want to attract the birds away from my neighbour totally but it would be nice if I could get the birds into my garden also.

Another neighbour at the back owns a cat but this does not seem to bother the birds.

Any suggestions on how I can entice some of our feathered friends for a nibble? 


  • Hello Hawkmoon, it is best to have only a few feeders up to start with, I would suggest sunflower hearts in one, as the birds love those and maybe bird seed or Niger seed in the other, once you get the birds in the garden, you can experiment with small amounts of other foods, peanuts, fat (blocks, balls, logs) to see what your birds like, suet pieces are a favourite also. Different folks on here find that the same birds in their garden will eat different things, than in others gardens.

    It is also necessary to have greenery in the garden, bushes, shrubs, trees etc, the birds like to have places to fly back and forth to, to eat their food, out of reach of any prey (cats, birds of prey, noise).

    If the birds are next door they will be used to the children about, so if you get them to come and feed they will also get to know who is about and the noises around your home.

    I have a cat and to be honest she hardly bothers with the birds, but others will go after them, as it is in their nature.

    I would also suggest that if you do get them in the garden, have water available, for them to drink and have a bath, this may well be available elsewhere but you and the children will be able to watch them. You don't need to get anything expensive, and old cleaned out bowl, tray, dish, even a tray that would go under a plant pot (a 12" size), you can put a stone in the middle, to keep it from blowing away and it gives the birds a perch.

    Hope this helps, good luck.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  • Hi Catlady

    Thank you so much for your suggestions. I will try them out.