Where Did They Go?
One question we are often asked is "Why are the birds not eating at my feeder?"
We hope to offer a few explanations as to why your bird activity may be quieter at your feeders from time to time. Typically with a few minor adjustments your feeders will be back to hustling & bustling and you will be back to enjoying your feathered friends.
- New Feeder? Often times when you set up a new bird feeder or a new bird feeding station it may take some time for the birds to find their new buffet. Birds find feeders based on sight and also activity of other birds. So place your feeder in an area that is easily visible. We also recommend an area that may offer some perching options. Birds are curious & cautious. They look for the safety & refuge of somewhere to perch before & after visiting your feeder. Consider adding perching branches to your feeding station if you can! This would certainly make your bird feeder more attractive. You could also try sprinkling some loose seed on the ground below to attract them. It may take up to 2-4 weeks for birds to find a new feeder. During this period of time we recommend only filling your feeder halfway until the birds are consisently active.
- New Food? Birds are creatures of habit. Many times we tell our customers... if they love it... don't change it! That being said, from time to time we may suggest changing your bird food for different reasons (such as seasonal changes or dealing with blackbirds) and during that period of time you may find the activity at your feeder will slow down while the birds transition to their new offering. The good news is once they get used to their new food, they'll be back just as they were before!
- Natural Food Sources? During periods of mild weather, particularly in the late fall/early winter, birds have an abundant amount of natural food sources. Birds will naturally forage 80% of their diet and supplement their needs at our feeders (this may be why you will see higher activity at the feeders first thing in the morning or at the end of the day). As natural food sources are less available or during periods of inclement weather you will see bird activity at your feeders increase.
- Fresh Food? Just like us, birds like their food fresh. If food has been exposed to moisture or humidity and has spoiled, birds will find other sources. Be sure to offer only what your birds will consume in a few days and purchase only what you can use in a few weeks (We bring our food in fresh every week!). Also, we recommend storing your food in a seal-tight container in a dry place.
- Predators? As much as we don't want to imagine it, our backyard bird visitors can fall prey to predators - such as hawks or outdoor cats. For hawks, once songbirds move on the hawk will disperse and your songbirds will return. Outdoor cats can be challenging and we encourage you to speak with our team members for additional resources.
These are just a few of the most common reasons why birds may be more quiet at your feeders. Of course there may be other reasons and that is why we're here! Our team is available to help trouble shoot your yard & offer suggestions to help you attract more birds to your feeding station.