Attracting birds to your backyards and your bird feeders is not that difficult, but it takes time, persistence, some tools, and tips. If you are new to backyard birds, you need to know what are the does and don’ts of attracting birds to your backyards. Because it can help you quickly attract more birds to your backyards. People who like bird watching and the ones who already have installed bird feeders but are failing to attract more birds should consider learning why birds are not visiting their backyards or their feeders.
To attract more birds to your backyards and your bird feeders, you need to keep in mind the basic needs of birds. Protection, food, shelter, and water are a few basic needs for the birds. If you can provide birds with food, shelter, safety, and water, they will be automatically attracted to your backyards. Birds eat a lot of things, such as seeds, corn, wheat, suet, fruit flesh, meat, and many other things. Each bird species has its food preferences. To more birds to your bird feeders, you need to add foods that almost every bird eats, such as seeds.
You need to create an environment around your bird feeders so that birds do not feel danger while visiting. Safety is one of the major concerns for birds and they do not visit hostile places, and that is why keeping the area around your feeders safe is very important. These were some of the basic tips, now let’s take a look at some other tips that can help you attract more birds to your backyards or bird feeders.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Did you know not all birds eat the same food? If you are trying to attract specific species of birds, check out this article on what to feed the birds: WHICH BIRDS PREFER WHAT FOOD.
Tips to help you attract more birds to your feeders
Here are a few tips that can help you attract more birds to your feeder.
- Install water-pots for birds – Apart from food, water is also one of the basic needs for the birds. So, you must install water pots around the bird feeders. So, when the birds have eaten food, they can drink water. Birds such as hummingbirds like to drink sweet water or sugar water. So, you should install a separate water pot for such birds. One water-pot is not enough for a bird feeder, because there are times when a large number of birds visit the feeders, and the single water-pot becomes overcrowded.
Installing multiple water-pots is also helpful to attract more birds. This helps you reduce the overcrowding of birds over a single water-pot meaning that birds will not have to fight to drink water. This will encourage more birds to your backyards, and the birds that once visited your backyards are more likely to return soon because of this. Apart from installing, refiling and keeping the water-pots clean is also very important.
- Install birdhouses near feeders – Safe shelter is also a need for the birds, such as food and water. Parenting birds are always in search of a shelter that is closer to the place where they can get food. This is because these birds have to feed and protect their young ones at the same time. Installing birdhouses near the bird feeders help you attract such birds that are looking for shelter. This will help the birds permanently settle into your backyards.
Installing birdhouses near feeders also allows the birds that are migrating or that are just visiting your backyards to take some rest. Installing birdhouses is a proven solution to attracting more birds. The visiting and migrating birds feel safer when they see other birds already settling in your birdhouses. This encourages these visiting birds to visit again and also to the migrating birds to return to this feeder when they are re-migrating.
- Install resting places for birds– Apart from food, shelter, and water, birds also need a place to rest or to sit when they are not eating. These resting places are sometimes also referred to as perching rods, protective dooms, and many other names as well. These resting places allow you to create a place where birds can sit if the feeder is overcrowded to wait for their turn. You can install anything as a resting place, such as a rod, or doom, or wooden resting box.
If your resting place has some sort of protection such as protection from sun, rain, or wind, it can help you attract more birds during the rainy seasons, cold winters, or during the hottest summer days. These resting places also serve as a place where birds can sit and perch. This perching sound travels across to help attract more birds.
- Install water fountains and water baths – Water fountains are an important recreational space for birds. Birds do not only drink water but they also like to bathe in water as well. That is why they more frequently visit the places where they can find more water to play. Especially during the hot summer days, birds visit places that have some sort of open water stream similar to a fountain, to not only drink water but also bathe in it and quietly sit around it.
It is observed that bird feeders with such recreational water streams, fountains, or water baths, saw an increased number of visiting birds. That is why you should also install such recreational spaces around your feeders to attract more birds. Just make sure that the water stream is not contaminated, dirty, or full of animal wastes. Keeping water spaces clean helps the birds stay healthy and they tend to visit more often.
- Use different colors to attract birds – Colors attract birds, that is why the use of different colors can help you attract different birds to your feeders. Birds can see and identify more colors as compared to humans. This is because they can also see the ultraviolet light that humans cannot see.
There are a lot of colors that can help you attract more birds, such as coloring and painting the bird feeders makes them more prominent. Painting birdhouses, painting water baths, and water pots as well as colorful flowers, etc. make these places more visible to birds. This increased visibility helps you attract more birds just by using the colors.
- Encourage nest buildings – When birds find a place comfortable and secure, they tend to create nests and start permanently living there. This attracts more birds to visit the place because this place seems to be safer to other birds because of the nests. So, if birds are frequently visiting your backyard or feeder and they have shown interest in building nests.
Avoid getting near the place where birds have started building nests. Because birds do not like anyone near their nests and tend to move out if you go near their nests. So, stay away from the place near your feeders where birds have started building nests. Nesting will help you see permanent bird settlements in your backyards and will also attract more birds towards your feeders as well.
- Add the right type of food in feeders – There are a lot of species of birds that visit bird feeders. And every bird species has its food preferences. Some birds like to eat insects, while some birds eat nuts and seeds, and some birds also eat green food such as vegetable flesh, and fruit flesh. To attract a specific type of bird towards your feeder, you must add the right type of food to your feeders.
You can add different food items to your bird feeders (one feeder contains one feed, multiple feeders required for different food items). This will attract more varieties of birds. For example, adding nuts and seeds will attract birds that eat nuts and seeds of different kinds. While adding suet, insects will attract another kind of bird, and the same for the birds that eat green food or fruits. Some birds such as hummingbirds like to drink sweet water or sugar water, you can install specialized water food feeders for them. This will help you attract different types of birds in large numbers.
- Install feeders in the right places – Installing feeders in random places will not help you attract birds. Your feeders, water fountains, and water pots must be visible to birds. That is why you should install your bird feeders and other types of equipment in more visible places. This increased visibility and exposure from air, helps birds easily spot the bird feeders while flying.
This simple strategy of installing the bird feeders in the right places can help you attract more and more birds even in the very early days. Experts advise that you should install bird feeders in places that are easily visible from the upside. Also, you can color your feeders and pots to increase the chances of visibility.
- Make the environment more bird-friendly – If your environment is not bird-friendly around the bird feeders, birds will never visit your place. That is why you must create a bird-friendly environment near the bird feeder. A bird-friendly environment means an environment where the bird cannot only eat, shelter, and build nests but also a place where it feels safe and protected. Planting more trees, planting small plants, flowering bushes, and creating water pathways, water-falls, and many other things can help you create such an environment.
- Planting the right plants also help – As you have already read, planting trees, and plants can help attract more birds. To maximize the effect of planting trees of plants and trees around the bird feeders to attract more birds, you can try and plant the specific plants and trees that birds like. For example, hummingbirds like flowering plants.
So, if you plant flowering plants near the feeders, there is a chance that more hummingbirds will visit your bird feeders. This proves that planting the right type of tree or plant is also helpful in attracting. That is why experts also advise you to create an orchid around the bird feeders and also plant large trees as well.
- Install multiple bird feeders – Birds are attracted to your backyard if there are multiple bird feeders in place. You should install multiple bird feeders as this can help you attract different varieties of birds. You can put different foods that are liked by different birds in each of your bird feeders. This will attract different birds and increase the number of overall birds visiting your backyards. It will also attract unique birds to your backyards as well.
It is a common phenomenon that if there is a single feeder, birds will visit and fight for place and food. But if there are multiple feeders, visiting birds will sit in different places and they will not fight for a place. As you increase the number of feeders that you install in your backyards, you will witness an increase in the number of birds visiting your backyards. This is the easiest and most effective way to increase the number of visiting birds to your bird feeders.
- Keep the place around feeders clean – This is more of a general guideline for all bird feeders’ owners. You must keep the place around the feeders, clean. Not only the place but the feeders also. Birds like clean and shiny places. That is why if your feeders are not cleaned, they might not return to your backyard. But if the place, the feeders, the water tubs, fountains, perching places, are all cleaned properly.
The birds will return. Apart from the places, also try to keep the food in feeders clean as well. Make sure that nuts do not contain anything that is uncrackable, such as stones, and seeds must be clean as well. Cleanliness protects the health of birds around the feeders and encourages them to return.
- Protect visiting/migrating birds – Local birds are easy to attract as they already live in the locality, but visiting or migrating birds are hard to attract. The reason behind that is visiting birds or migrating birds do not feel safer near human presence. That is why they stop and stay away from the human neighborhoods. But sometimes in search of food, they also tend to visit the bird feeders as well. So, during the migration season, if migratory birds visit your place, make sure that you do not scare them away. Keep your pets and kids inside and do not go towards your feeders. This will help you attract more migrating birds to your backyard. Not only this but it will also encourage the more local birds to visit your place as well.
Now you know what are the things that can help you attract more birds to your backyards or your bird feeders. It is time for you to learn about the things that you should not do, or avoid. So, that you do not scare the already visiting birds and prevent them from visiting again. Below are a few things that you should avoid if you want to see more birds in your backyards and bird feeders.
Things to Avoid
Below are a few items that you should not do if you want more birds at your bird feeders.
- Avoid unnecessary visiting of feeders – Birds are mostly scared of humans, even if you are feeding them. They do not feel safe when humans are around the feeders. And if you go near the feeders, birdhouses, or nests when the birds are eating or resting in your backyards. You will scare the birds away and they might not return ever. That is why you should not go near the feeders unless it is important. Also, try to refill the feeders only when no bird is around them. Also, clean and refill other places only during the specific timings when birds are not around.
- Avoid creating noise in the backyard – Birds indeed create a lot of noise, but it is also true they do not like a noisy place. This is because the birds feel threatened when something else is creating noise. So, birds fly away from the noisy places. That is why you should not create noise in your backyard, or near birdhouses or bird feeders. This will scare your visiting birds and they might never return because of this noise issue.
- Do not let the feeders be empty – The only reason why birds visit your feeders is to get some food and rest. So, consider if a bird visits your feeder and it is empty, will this bird return to your feeders? Chances are, no. it will never visit again. That is why it is important to never let the feeders be empty. This will discourage the birds. You should refill the feeders when they are half empty or have some food left inside of them so they are never empty. A feeder that is full every time tends to attract more birds.
- Do not let the water pot go empty – Similar to the feeders, if your water pots are empty, water baths are empty, and your fountains and water streams are also empty, no bird will visit your place again. That is why you should never let the water pot dry. Refill them as soon as the water level drops from a minimal amount that you can set according to the number of birds that visit. Try to keep your water fountains and water streams full and running as well, as they also tend to attract more birds.
- Do not go near bird nests – This is a very important general guideline that you must follow. Do not go near the bird nests, birdhouses, or bird feeders while the birds are around. Especially the bird nests. Birds only create nests in your backyards if they think it is a safe place. But if you invade their space, they will migrate from your backyard to somewhere else. This will also threaten other birds as well. They might get scared and leave also. That is why do not discourage or frighten the bird by going near their nests or touching their eggs or anything of that sort.
- Do not let pets/kids scare birds – Keeping your kids and pets, such as dogs, cats, away from your backyards is very important. Especially the cats, as they eat birds and attack their living places. Birds feel threatened if they see cats roaming around the backyards, birdhouse, or bird feeders. And if they feel threatened, it is obvious that they will leave the place and might never return. That is why you should keep your pets, your kids inside and do not let them be near the feeders.
Attracting birds to your bird feeders is very easy, you need to provide four things to birds, food, water, shelter, and safety. You need to create a peaceful, and safe environment so that visiting birds feel protected. Install multiple bird feeders, perching places, resting places, water tubs, fountains, water streams to attract more birds to your feeders.
Apart from this, keeping the feeders visible from the air, installing birdhouses, and allowing birds to nest in the backyard can also help increase the number of visiting birds. These are a few things that you can do to attract birds to your backyards. There are a few things that you should not do so that you do not scare away the visiting birds. These include keeping the pots and feeders empty and dry, scaring the birds by noise, kids, or pets. These are a few things that can help you attract more birds to your feeders and can also help you make them visit again.