3 Tips for Attracting Wild Birds

Attracting wild birds in winter

So, you bought a bird feeder, filled it with seeds, sat back to enjoy watching the birds, and then … nothing. “Where are the birds? Why aren’t they coming to my feeders?” In this article, we’ll provide you with some tips for attracting wild birds and how to keep them coming back.

Safety when attracting wild birds

Birds will be comfortable eating from a bird feeder as long as they feel safe from predators. Hanging your feeders from a tree using a Branch Hook or near some shrubbery is one way to achieve this. Try to avoid open or noisy areas and hang them at eye level or a little above. You don’t want them too low that they are within a cat’s reach or anywhere that a squirrel can jump on them. A long deck hook or shepherd’s hook should work. We have these available in our store.

Branch Hook for wild bird feeders

Shepherd Hood Double

Natural feeding areas for wild birds

You should also keep in mind the type of feeder and birds you want to attract. Put the feeders in places that those particular birds naturally feed. Suet feeders for Woodpeckers, for example, should be placed on or near tree trunks or thick branches. Platform feeders for ground-feeding birds do best near shrubbery. Nectar feeders would be more popular near nectar-producing flowers.


Windows are often fatal for small birds, so you should place your feeders either within 3 feet of the window so that when they fly away, they will not hit the window hard enough to inflict serious injury or at least 10 feet away so they are far enough away from human activity to feel safe. There are also Window Decals that you can place on your windows to warn birds of their presence.

If you still don’t see birds on your feeders, be patient. Attracting wild birds takes time as they discover a new food source. You might want to try sprinkling seeds on the ground around the bird feeder to make it more obvious. After 2-3 weeks, you may want to relocate the feeder and try again. If it is in a windy spot, the seeds may be blown out and birds may not feel that it is a safe place. If your feeders are too close together, it can create aggression and territoriality as some birds will drive away others.

If you need some ideas for types of feeders to buy, click here to find a variety of wild bird feeders. We hope these suggestions have wild birds flocking to your feeders!

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