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Bird feeders



We have full bird feeders, of have seeds and suet, but the birds are ignoring them, they will eat it when I put in on the ground and on the trays, can you tell me why this might be please, many thanks.I have even stopped putting food out but they still ignore the feeders!

Kind regards

Sheila Robinson (Mrs)



  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 83,755

    Which birds are eating the food on the ground and trays?

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • There are several possible reasons but the most likely are either that with the generally mild wet weather there is enough natural food about or your birds have not yet learned to trust the feeders or you that you have the wrong sort of birds. If you have mainly ground feeders like blackbirds, thrushes, dunnocks and robins, for example, you will not get many on the feeders.

    I had many more birds feeding during the recent 'cold'snap' than I have now. The robin only visits the feeder occasionally and the blackbirds never, except for one female more agile than the rest. My newest feeder has not yet been used. Other possibilities are that they don't feel safe because of predators (cats or sparrowhawk) or that the food is not palatable. Sunflower hearts, black sunflower and nyger mix and insecty suet pellets or cakes go down well here. Good luckimage

  • juju2juju2 Posts: 5

    We have found that they can be a little fussy I have bought a mixture of seeds and found they like the sunflower hearts the best could be you have fussy bird's too .


  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114
    If they need the food, they'll come.

    Make sure you take account of ground-feeding birds, but don't leave surplus food out or you will attract rats. You should not put out more food than they can clear up before nightfall.

    Start them off with small amounts until they clear it all up.
  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 21,887

    Are the feeders a long way from any protective cover like a tree or large shrub?

    Are the feeders an unusual design? Maybe they look strange and unnerving.

    Have they been put in place very long? Birds tend to watch and sum things up before trying them out.

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 4,099

    Odd in a way. Our new feeders were being used before we had got back into the house.

    This is why we put up new ones.


    In places where lots of people feed birds, they are often slow to appear at new food sources, as they are not hungry enough to explore them.


  • EsspeeEsspee Posts: 274

    You are not alone Sheila.  I was given a bird feeding station as a Christmas gift and it has hardly been used.  Magpies moved into our area about 15 years ago and have pretty much wiped out the small birds.  With the mild wet weather I suspect natural food is in abundance but if it gets colder perhaps we will see more of our little friends come for an easy lunch.  I intend to clear out the feeders and only put a little food out at a time until I see an increase in use.

  • treehugger80treehugger80 Posts: 1,923

    some birds (blackbirds, Thrushes, robins, wrens etc.) don't like feeders, they like ground feeding,

    I put our an old shallow tray out with food in it (drill some holes in it, otherwise all the seed sprouts) and put it next to a low shrub and watch them hope out grab some food and disappear back into the shrubs.

  • cornellycornelly Posts: 969

    Our feeders are alongside a berberis bush which is protection from predators, we get sparrow hawks in regularly, so that is the bolt hole, only feed sunflower hearts in the feeders for ground feeders mixed seed, do have a fat feeder which with the mild weather hasn't attracted much attention, but we have tits, finches, blackbirds, chaffinches, dunnock's, our robins, and the occasional nuthatch, only seen two long tailed tits, so far this year, the feeders are within 12 feet of the French windows so we have much pleasure in watching the birds feed.

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,027

    Some great advice re siting of feeders and types of suitable food etc.

    I had one of those metal/wire peanut feeders at one time that looked a bit like a sunflower, with the centre as the container. Birds hated it. Had to take the nuts out as they went mouldy. Put an ordinary one up - nuts disappeared at usual speed. 

    Some birds are adaptable - my robins happily eat out of the hanging feeder inside a cage, but if you have mainly ground feeders, you may have to be patient with the hanging type. Also - check that the food isn't clogged up inside and has got wet and mouldy. Some of them are a very bad design.

    Protection (cover) is definitely a big factor. 

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
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