Bird feeding is a prevalent activity amongst the masses. For it, many but a bird feeder. But it gives rise to the million-dollar question- How do birds find bird feeders? You could hand the bird feeder and fill it with food and simply stare at it, wondering, ‘Will birds come to a bird feeder?’
We try to allay the fears and curiosity of all newbie and even old bird feeder owners. We will arsenal you with significant knowledge of how do birds find bird feeders and the best way to attract them. Read on!
Understanding bird food-hunt skills
Contrary to people’s belief, birds lack any sense of smell, and thus, they do not depend on it in their quest for food. However, they have extremely sharp sight and acute listening skills. This power of sound and sight helps birds locate and finally find food.
Birds tend to hop around urban areas in search of food. Using their powerful sight, they locate feeders and scattered food. Because they continually hunt for food, they can often spot food. For the same reason, they locate bird feeders and gradually tag it as a hot food location.
While birds predominantly depend on their sense of sight, they also use their acute hearing skills to complete hilt. Because the bird’s diet is hard seeds, they perpetually need fresh water. Hence, they listen to the sounds of water. Often, they find food besides these water sources.
The sound is also used to attract the attention of other birds. If a bird has found a food source that far exceeds its needs, it may call its other mates or members to share the treasure.
How do birds find bird feeders?
As already stated, birds predominantly depend on their strong sight to locate a bird feeder and start feeding on it. If fed regularly, they start seeing it as a food hub like we do nail restaurants. Gradually, they start visiting it regularly as their food source.
Tips to help birds find a bird feeder
We know that birds can locate a bird feeder, but it is not as easy as it sounds. If you have purchased a new bird-feeder, birds might spot it immediately or it may take a few weeks to even a month for them to recognize your bird feeder as a food hub and start visiting.
However, you can do certain things from your side to help birds spot your bird feeder easily and start feeding on it at the earliest.
Get your local bird knowledge right
Before you even place your bird feeder, it is essential to know which birds visit your locality and the type of food they love. It would help you fill your feeder with the food that those birds would love. It would increase the chances of the birds visiting your feeder station more frequently.
Location of the feeder
The location of the feeder plays another critical role. It should be placed in the open so that birds are most likely to spot it. Simultaneously, it should be near a bush or tree so that the birds feel secure visiting it. The area should be free of any pets like dogs or cats who are likely to attack them. If feeling threatened, the birds would never visit your feeder.
If you previously had a bird feeder, you can place it at the location. If you need to move it to a different place, you must move it slowly at short distances, so that the birds can follow the route.
Spread seeds on the ground
We already know how awesome a bird’s sight is. If you scatter some seed around the feeder on the ground, the birds have a higher chance of spotting the scattered seeds. It can easily lead them to the feeder. Being the hard-wired good scouts, the birds would soon be visiting your bird feeder regularly.
Include a water source
Birds constantly need water for drinking and bathing. If possible, introduce a moving water element like a fountain, bird-bath, etc. Their attractive sound is likely to catch the bird’s attention. A large vessel of water is also likely to attract their attention.
Keep the bird-feeder filled at all times
No matter whether it is the local birds or the migratory birds, they are always on the lookout for food. You need to follow the golden rule of keeping the bird-feeder filled with high-quality bird food at all times. This way, you would enjoy the privilege of viewing a variety of birds visiting your feeder.
Deter rats from your feeder
A common query is ‘Will bird feeders attract rats?’ The answer is yes if you are not following the guidelines. Rats love several foods given to birds and they are good climbers as well. To deter the rats, you can place your feeder at least four feet above the ground and at least eight feet away from any branches or fences or other things that the rats might use to jump to the feeder and assess their food.
The distance is such that rats find it nearly impossible to jump to the feeder.
Attracting birds to your bird feeder and keeping it safe from pests like rodents is not too difficult provided you do it right and remain patient. In no time, you can keep enjoying the view of birds feeding on your feeder.