Learn more about the best strategies to attract birds to your bird feeder

The beautiful sight and sound of birds creates a peaceful scene in any lawn or garden.

Depending on your location, you may have birds with bright, vibrant colors in your area, or melodious singing and chirping. Check out our helpful tips and products to bring some new feathered friends to your backyard.

Give Birds Time Before They Start Visiting

Be patient with your backyard birds, as it may take some time for them to visit your feeder regularly.

There are many factors that can affect birds coming to a feeder, such as the season and migratory patterns. Keep a watchful eye out for the birds that are coming and going in your yard.

Make sure that you are providing the appropriate types of seed for birds that are in your location for specific times of the year.

5 Strategies to Get Birds to Come to Your Bird Feeder

  1. Add a Birdhouse

Making birds feel safe in your yard is key for attracting them to your bird feeder.

A great way to do this is by adding a birdhouse to entice birds to stay in your yard. Generally, you will want to install your birdhouse in a spot that is a safe distance from the ground so that your feathered friends find their new lodgings to be secure and reliable.

Adding a bird house is a great way to attract birds to your yard or bird feeder.
  1. Set Up Several Bird Feeders

Having a variety of bird feeders in different styles and set up in various areas around your lawn will help attract different types of birds to your lawn.

Some birds are attracted to bright colors, so this vibrant blue flower-shaped fly-through feeder makes a great option for feeding your feathered friends as well as being a decorative outdoor accent.

This wild bird seed feeder provides a variety of spots for birds to feed, including 2 perched ports and a bottom tray.

Two birds enjoying a meal on a Sunnydaze  Mosaic Bird Feeder.

Image courtesy of Debra Gail. Visit her Instagram and Facebook page to check out this image and other great images of birds and other wildlife.

  1. Offer a Variety of Foods

You’ll have a better chance of attracting lots of birds in your yard if you offer a variety of foods. Plus, changing up the foods based on season is important as well.

Check out the information below for attracting certain birds:

Seeds

Bird seed like black-oil sunflower and seed mixes are great for beginners because they attract different types of birds.

Black-oil sunflower seed is ideal for attracting finches, sparrows, chickadees, cardinals and blue jays. If you plan on using seed mixes, you may want to use varieties labeled as “no mess” as these have been de-hulled and will not be as messy underneath your feeder. These will also be likely to be picked up by ground-feeding birds like doves, sparrows and juncos.

Fresh Fruit

Sliced apples and other fresh fruit can attract birds to your backyard. When using apples, make sure that you remove the seeds.

Birds that love munching on apples include the Eastern bluebird, Northern cardinal, American robin, cedar waxwing and red-bellied woodpecker.

Suet

Suet is a mix of beef fat and seeds that is ideal for attracting insect-eating birds, including woodpeckers, chickadees and wrens.

We recommend using feeders specially designed to accommodate suet cakes and installing them at least 5 feet off the ground to keep out of reach of dogs. Also, do not use suet in hot weather as it can turn rancid and may harm the birds.

  1. Plant Native Trees and Shrubs

Create a habitat that birds feel comfortable in by planting greenery that is native to your area.

Having native plants in your backyard may produce seeds and attract insects that your local birds may eat, which will encourage them to come into and stay in your outdoor space.

Check out the plant lists and collections for your state from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center to get some ideas for native plants to grow in your backyard.

  1. Create a Perch

Make sure that there is a perch available nearby for birds to sit on the bird feeder or near it. Being able to sit on or near the bird feeder will help birds become more comfortable with the feeder.

A shepherd hook is multi-functional accent for your yard because not only can the birds perch on it, but you can hang up a bird feeder or two for them as well.

What to Do if Birds Still Aren’t Coming to Your Feeder

If birds are still not coming to your bird feeder, you may need to take time to stop and observe the bird feeder.

Are there certain animals other than birds that are in your yard that could be scaring them away? Is there adequate seed in the feeder? Are the feeder and seed clean and dry?

Check out some tips below to troubleshoot why the birds may not be stopping by your yard:

Squirrels

Are there any pests like squirrels invading your bird feeder? These furry rodents like to frequent bird feeders to grab a bite to eat, but by doing so can scare off your feathered friends.

If you have your bird feeder hanging from a shepherd’s hook or pole, you could coat the pole with bacon grease or oil. In addition to helping out your backyard birds, you can also be entertained by the attempts of the squirrels trying to climb the pole.

Cats

Cats are notorious for stalking and hunting birds outdoors. If you have a pet cat, keep it indoors to protect your backyard birds.

According to alleycat.org, you can keep cats away from your garden and yard by scattering items that don’t appeal to their sense of smell, such as fresh orange or lemon peels, coffee grounds, vinegar or lavender oil. Also make sure that you are covering your outdoor garbage cans or keeping the lids tightly secured with bungee cords.

Clean and Maintain Feeder and Seed

Regularly replacing the seed and cleaning the feeder is necessary to keep your backyard birds happy and healthy.

Bird feeders need to be cleaned on a regular basis to reduce the chance of birds spreading parasites and disease. Also, make sure that you have fresh, dry seed readily available as wet and moldy seed is not attractive or healthy for birds to eat.

We suggest you clean your feeder about once every 2 weeks, or more often in warm, damp conditions or during seasons of heavy use. Also, clean your feeder using a mixture of dish soap, diluted bleach and warm water, and allow it fully dry before refilling it with fresh seed.

Don’t forget about the ground-feeding birds too. When you are washing and maintaining your bird feeder, also make sure that you are cleaning up old hulls and spilled seeds underneath to ensure that the ground-feeding birds aren’t being exposed to parasites or diseases too.

Create a Relaxing Outdoor Oasis for Your Feathered Friends

When inviting birds to your backyard, don’t just stop with birds that utilize feeders. Some birds, like robins, won’t eat from feeders. They will visit birdbaths to get a refreshing drink or splash about to clean off. Add a stylish birdbath outdoors to entice these birds to visit your patio or lawn. You’ll provide them with a refuge to rest and cool off on hot summer days. Click here to check out the bird feeders and bird baths that we offer.

By following these simple tips, you’ll attract birds to your backyard over time. Using a combination of different feeders, a variety of seed and a bird bath, you’ll create the optimal environment that birds will thrive in.

    Outdoor living

    About the Author

    Alyssa Geary
    Alyssa Geary
    Alyssa Geary is a product specialist who loves the cozy ambiance that the right lights can bring to indoor and outdoor spaces. In the summer months, you’ll find her relaxing under the shade of an umbrella reading a good book, or scrolling through Instagram.

    1 comment

    Dean Phillips

    My father invited me over for dinner last Monday night where he told me has been looking to get outdoor bird feeders online. He notices the birds in his backyard and thinks this bird feeders would be good for them I offered to help him do some online research and that’s where I found your excellent post. I really liked where you mentioned that sliced apples and other fresh fruit can attract birds to your backyard.A great point here, where I’m sure those like my father will be glad to keep in mind. Thanks a lot! I’ll share this with him shortly! https://www.copperfieldgifts.com/lawn-garden/bird-feeders.html

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