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How to Attract Birds to Feeder (Proven & Effective Tips)

Pine siskin battle birds fight

There's something fun and exciting about bird watching.

Observing these active creatures in varying bright plumages that sometimes change with the season sparks the interest of many.

Not to mention, these feathered friends of ours have different personalities too.


Many bird species have a declining population due to a lack of nesting opportunities. Hence, it is high time to consider welcoming these birds into our lives, and our backyards are simply the perfect place to start.

So, if you're thinking about how to attract birds to a bird feeder more successfully, please read on.

Helpful Tips On How To Get Birds To Come To Your Bird Feeder a peaceful backyard to attract birds

There are many different birds you may see in your garden every day; some of these backyard birds are more familiar to us than others. Regardless of what kind of bird they may be, they never seem to run out of ways to captivate us.

With many people working on farmlands, and the increasing development of agricultural lands, some birds rely on our backyards for their basic needs. Additionally, you can make birding more than a fun activity, as your observations can be helpful information for biologists.

It will only take you 15 minutes if you choose to participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count every February. Doing so can help experts track birds by providing up-to-date population totals.

Most people are unaware of how welcoming these birds into our space provides more benefits than merely entertaining us. These winged creatures offer us the most natural and effective ecological control of small rodents, insects, and weeds in our gardens.

With that said, let's learn how to attract birds to your feeder by creating a wildlife habitat from your home, beyond the basics like regularly cleaning your feeders.

1. Create A Well-Planned Garden Habitat

Learning how to attract birds to bird feeders takes creating wildlife habitat on your property. It is common to encounter a wild bird that significantly depends on native plants as these are part of their natural ecosystem. 

Let's say you are from North America; know what plants are native to this region. Use your knowledge of different bird behaviors and their adapting styles in creating such an environment. Make your garden an assortment of habitats so that your home would seem like their home.

These birds need what nature produces; hence, it's best to landscape your yard in meticulous detail to include well-selected plants and trees.

Go the extra mile to ensure native plants are available not just to attract birds but also to keep them coming back to your yard. Berries and seeds make excellent food offerings for a vast range of birds. Plant any tree or shrub that can bear a seed, nut, or cone.

You can have native plants like blueberries, red-twig dogwood, and spicebush. Black-eyed Susans, native asters, and coneflowers are perfect for beginners in planting natives; these plants will lure seed-loving birds effortlessly.

Consider that some birds are seed-eaters, others enjoy worms from soils, insects from tree barks, and some prefer nectars. Keep your garden as diverse as possible to attract more flighted visitors.

2. Provide Birds With A Shelter And A Nesting Site

If you want to effectively learn how to get birds to your feeder, understand that it also involves observing them during nesting season. Give these birds a standing chance of surviving the cold weather while giving the migrating birds a chance to rest after a long, tedious flight.

Plant tangles, underbrush, dead trees, and log piles offer shelter and protection for nesting and roosting birds.

Likewise, junipers and dwarf spruces are nice to have in your garden. It might astonish you to have a house sparrow prying around these shrubs. You will likely encounter some birds tucking themselves into your junipers during a cold winter night.

Wrens, robins, purple martins, woodpeckers, and flickers would love to find nest boxes secured to trees or posts. Dense trees provide excellent shelter; cover plants and a birdhouse can attract nesting birds because such can make them feel safe and secure.

Tall shrubs keep birds safe from predators. You have better chances of birds creating nests in your backyard if they find it safe to lay their eggs and grow their young.

By having a suitable birdhouse or nesting box in place, you provide birds a ready-made home similar to the conditions of their natural nesting site. But some birds are open nesters, preferring to nest naturally and not utilize birdhouses.

Keep in mind the smaller birds when creating or buying birdhouses. It should have a tiny entrance hole so that a small bird can fit in without trouble.

3. Have A Steady Source Of Food Supply

A bird searches for food depending on its body structure, diet, feet, and type of bill. When finding ways how to get birds to come to your bird feeder, you can try increasing the food options available for them.

Having the best bird foods for your local species will encourage more of these birds to visit your yard.

Different kinds of seeds to attract birds

A significant part of understanding how to attract birds to your bird feeder is researching different food preferences for various birds.

You can also have a more successful bird feeding if you install both hanging and post-mounted bird feeders. Although a tube feeder is more prevalent among small birds, maintaining a clean and dry seed is easier if you have hanging feeders.

If you have a hummingbird feeder, ensure that you have one in red, as hummers find that color attractive. Further, a bird's body size and shape can influence its feeding behavior and skill. 

Its feet play a part in helping them access certain foods, which is why it pays off to know these things before you start feeding birds. Birds with long claws find many bird feeders readily accessible; flat-feet birds use perches when eating.

Likewise, you have better chances of feeding birds if you're aware that bill sizes and shapes impact the kind of food they eat. Short-beaked birds prefer tray or hanging feeders, while long-beaked birds use ground feeders and enjoy seed mixes and mealworms.

Native plants are excellent food resources, producing seeds, foliage, berries, and nectar. Quality bird feeding includes suitable bird feeders, proper feeder placements, and nutritious foods.

4. Ensuring Clean Water Supply In Your Backyard

Many birds travel long distances during the migrating season, which is why they find it enticing once they see a water source in your yard. If there are no ponds or running streams of water nearby, a birdbath or a pool can supply these birds with the water they need.

You can have it dripping, flowing, or splashing, but either way, the sound, and sight of water can lure birds into your yard.

These feathered creatures use water for cleaning their feathers, drinking, or merely cooling off. Most of these birds prefer shallow water; they would appreciate it if you could also install a small bubbling fountain or waterfall.

You might as well consider a sound investment in a birdbath heater to keep water from freezing in winter. Ensure that you maintain the water's cleanliness by changing it frequently to prevent contamination and safeguard the health of these birds.

Moreover, it would also help to have shrubbery or foliage close to the water source, whether a conventional birdbath or a small water garden. Doing so will give the birds a safe landing space to investigate the water before they take a plunge.

If you want to do a DIY birdbath for your yard, watch this video:

Frequently Asked Questions

What bird feeder attracts birds into backyards?

A vital part of knowing how to attract birds to a new feeder is satisfying the varied feeding requirements of garden birds. Aside from the proper food selection, choosing a suitable feeder type to meet the different bird feeding needs is also essential.

Ground feeders are suitable for any birds, especially ground-feeding birds. Depending on your tray size, a tray feeder is also convenient; likewise, tube feeders work well for birds with long claws, flat feet, and short beaks.

Mesh feeders are best for birds who prefer suet pellets and peanuts, but such feeders may not be suitable for containing birdseed. A woodpecker and a chickadee enjoy a suet feeder, hopper feeders can hold ample seeds for a blue jay, and a window feeder works well for a junco.

How to attract birds to a birdfeeder with the right food?

Every bird has a distinct food preference. Some enjoy feeding on just about any seed while others love dried and fresh fruits, suet cakes, sugar water, and mealworms. Try to determine the kind of birds you wish to attract and research what foods these creatures like best.

Depending on their nutritional requirements and bill shape, seed and food preferences vary among different species. Aside from house finch and chickadee, titmice, grosbeak, sparrow, dove, and woodpecker also favor a sunflower seed.

Pine siskin and goldfinch enjoy a nyjer seed; jays and cardinals like safflower seed. Some fruits and veggies are good options such as healthy homemade snacks and supplemental feeding.

What larger birds typically visit bird feeders?

Some of the sizable birds you can encounter visiting platform feeders in backyards are cardinals, pigeons, catbirds, grackles, doves, and starlings. Having a platform feeder in place will increase your chances of attracting larger birds. One research from Cornell Lab of Ornithology shows that 88 out of 98 species prefer to eat at such a feeder. 

FYI: You can succeed in attracting bluebirds by making bluebird feeders using the tips and strategies enumerated above!

Final Thoughts

Birds are wildlife creatures, and they are more familiar with thriving on natural resources. It is crucial to understand how birds behave and interact, bird food preferences, how they feed, and where they nest.

You will find these factors handy as you dive into more profound knowledge about how to attract birds to a feeder. Let's say you want to attract hummingbirds in your garden; it is best to know these birds' feeding styles.

Enjoying the diversity of avian life begins with your enhanced awareness of the garden birds you expect to visit. You can counter the increasing loss of natural bird habitats by creating a bird-friendly environment in your very backyard.

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