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Why do the birds only come to the feeder in the morning?.

(22 Posts)
Fluffycloudland77 Fri 22-May-20 16:56:11

I know they come because I see the odd gold finch and blue tit but it’s not all day long.

It took them 10 months to find the feeder. I’ve moved it off the garage to the fence furthest from the house.

I’m feeding Tesco sunflower hearts, are the birds around here (estate with big field next to it with trees) more discerning?.

I wouldn’t mind but there’s a wildlife cafe at the top of the estate that’s literally teeming with birds and the woman over the road can’t fill her feeder up fast enough sad although she only gets sparrows & not gold finches.

isseywith4vampirecats Fri 22-May-20 17:21:32

birds like a variety of seeds and if you are only putting sunflower hearts you will get the birds that like those,
I put mixed wild bird seed out along with grated bread, grated cheese, grated fat balls and sunflower hearts I throw it flat on the garage roof as I have cats and feeders on fence are not safe,
I get starlings, sparrows crows magpies, blackbirds and wood pigeons first thing
the squirrel who lives near comes down first thing in the morning for the leftovers, I get the mob first thing in the morning then the small birds come for supper just before roosting time

Fluffycloudland77 Fri 22-May-20 18:41:44

I’ll order some fat balls then. Dh will be thrilled.

PickAChew Fri 22-May-20 18:49:59

Someone, somewhere else, puts out a better offer, that's why.

They definitely do need variety. We buy fat balls (not the cheapest ones) and a seed mix that doesn't have whole wheat as a filler, as the birds just discard it and it ends up sprouting everywhere. We get Robins, blackbirds, the odd jackdaw, sparrows, great tits, coal tits, occasionally a woodpecker, a selection of squirrels, until we upped our feeder game and woodpigeons and collared doves mopping up the crumbs along with bank voles and field mice.

We do get the odd piss taker.

Fluffycloudland77 Fri 22-May-20 19:09:44

Oh I knew I should have bought Waitrose bird food. Tesco foods always a bit shit.

So, you’re saying I need to order rspb food & tempt them back then.

Roo2012 Fri 22-May-20 19:16:05

The birds who come to us love suet pellets and meal worms, they also like the mixed seed and sunflower seeds, but the suet and meal worms are definitely the favourite. We get starlings, blue tits, coal tits, magpie, blackbird, a jackdaw, jay and wood pigeons. It's taken a couple of years of consistent feeding to get to this level, at first we just used to get pigeons. Mix it up and don't give up.

MoreSchnitzelPlease Fri 22-May-20 19:30:01

I would recommend that you put out a few different types of food. At the moment I have two feeders with a birdseed mix (high energy, wheat free), a peanut feeder, fat ball feeder, and a birdtable. A birdtable will encourage more birds as only little ones will be able to use the hanging feeders. A birdtable is good as it will get used by a variety of birds, and ground feeding birds, such as blackbirds, will eat what has fallen on the ground.

Sunflower seeds are fine in a separate feeder, but as another poster has said, it will only be attractive to birds that like eating them. I wouldn't necessarily recommend putting too many fat balls out now that the weather is warmer, as they go rancid quickly in the heat. The birds that visit my garden have stopped eating them, it has been very warm here in the south of England. I've kept one fat ball feeder up, and replaced the other with a peanut feeder.

Sometimes it is just quiet, and I had a period a few weeks ago when I wasn't seeing many visitors. I think they were busy nesting. Now my garden is much busier with birds. Feeding the birds is lovely, and I really enjoy watching them! Wild birds need all the help they can get, you are doing a wonderful thing providing food for them.

imsooverthisdrama Fri 22-May-20 20:08:51

I've only recently got into feeding the birds , I have a cat but she's told old to care about chasing anything now and the birds know that .
I put a variety of seed / fat balls , I sometimes see them if I'm sat in the garden on my own but usually it's early before I'm up/ the cat is let out .

Khione Fri 22-May-20 21:19:38

I have a feeder about 2 m (sounds familiar) from my patio doors. I have a feeder each with sunflower seeds, peanuts nibbles and niger seed.

There is also a tray on which I put a selection plus mealworm.

The goldfinch are supposed to like the niger - they mostly ignore it.

Overall the sunflower seeds are most popular, although the peanuts are going down more quickly recently.

I get goldfinch, greenfinch and chaffinch, blue tits, coal tits and long tail tits and robins on the feeders. Blackbirds on the table. AND pigeons and ring necked doves all over. One male chaffinch can't manager the feeder properly as he has deformed feet but he either grabs a seed on the wing or waits for the others to drop one or chuck one out.

They are most active first thing but pop on and off all day.

I also have a field mouse that comes and cleans up any dropped bits and a hedgehog (or 2) that visit every evening. Cat food out in a bowl for him but I can't put that out until after dusk or the birds nick it.

I can see them all from my lounge and it is so relaxing watching them. I'm not sure I would be quite so motivated to ensure there was always food for them if I wasn't able to watch them.

Fluffycloudland77 Fri 22-May-20 21:21:15

I think living in the country spoilt me because the garden was literally teeming with birds but it seems suburban birds know how to work the area “oh, sunflower hearts again is it? Her over the roads got suet pellets and live meal worms”.

We do have about three buzzards who scrap with the crows every morning, we think someone’s after chicks.

Ltdannygreen Fri 22-May-20 22:18:28

Last year we moved ours to the centre of the garden because no birds were coming and then we got every bird from the neighbourhood come in, they ate me out of house and home, this year we’ve had to move the bird house because we are having the garden done and it’s near the washing line so if we have washing out they won’t usually come. We have a nice little mouse that comes and eats what the birds drop on the floor though,

CatBatCat Fri 22-May-20 22:24:14

The birds that visit me come at a set time of day. There's a group of about 8 small brown birds haven't learnt the name of them yet that all arrive at about 3pm every day. Robins and black birds hang around first thing in the morning and the pigeons try their luck on the fallen seeds all throughout the day.

PickAChew Fri 22-May-20 23:57:17

I used to live in the country and got nothing but starlings and jackdaws. The jackdaws were awful there. They'd circle me in my gsrden and tear my chimney apart.

PickAChew Fri 22-May-20 23:58:22

Wilko is good, btw.

Thepigeonsarecoming Sat 23-May-20 00:06:18

I wouldn’t say the food has to be expensive, the only thing we pay more for is seed, although we order it as a large bag via a farm shop so doesn’t work out too pricey that way. The cheaper stuff just gets rejected or grows in the soil underneath the feeder when discarded

It does seem like they’re abandoning you when someone else puts out a better variety though! Ungrateful feathery fuckers 😂. We buy suet, fat balls and mealworm from B&M and have to fill the feeders up several times a day

FatherWindyShepherdHenderson Sat 23-May-20 00:47:26

I disagree that you need a big range of food to attract lots of birds! I say this because when I started feeding wild birds 10 years ago, I did just that. It cost a fortune and most of it was unnecessary and went to waste. All seed eating birds love sunflower hearts as they are packed full of energy (don’t buy them with the husk still on as you’ll have more waste on the ground and the birds waste precious energy taking them off). If you want to, you can supplement with suet - I personally hang a half coconut up that’s filled with fat, seeds etc. rather than fat balls as they can be full of rubbish (especially the cheaper ones - also, never hang them in the nets they sometimes come in, little birds legs and feet can get tangled). Then I supplement with suet pellets- birds absolutely love these! That’s all I put out and I get a huge array of birds in my garden. Don’t forget to put fresh water out for them too!

The other thing you might need to consider is feeder placement- is it quite exposed where it is or is it close to somewhere they can hide if they feel threatened? If not, think about moving it.

Also, at this time of year and with the nice weather we’ve been having, there is lots of natural food sources out there for them, which might explain why you’re only seeing morning activity at your feeders.

I’ve volunteered at a wild bird rehabilitation sanctuary for years so know a little bit on wild birds and their eating habits ☺️

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 23-May-20 08:00:19

This morning a goldfinch flew from next doors garage, perched on my fence to look at the feeder in its new position and buggered off.


I’ve put a water dish out for them now.

I will be ordering suet pellets today.

BillywilliamV Sat 23-May-20 08:06:01

Mealworms! but soak them in water for a few hours first at this time of year because baby birds shouldn't have them dry!

Incidentally best seed feeder EVER is the Peckish 3 port feeder, so robust and easy to clean.
Dont buy from Amazon though, they want £17 for one shock

SubatomicBleach Sat 23-May-20 08:17:44

In the summer I pretty much only feed sunflower hearts and we generally have every day on the feeder
Blue Tits
Great Tits

The finches only come if there are sunflower hearts, they won't visit for a bird seed mix!

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 23-May-20 14:58:52

I’ve ordered;

Wall mounted peanut feeder
Wall mounted suet and meal worm feeder
Suet pellets with peanuts

I’ll get some dried worms and soak them.

MoreSchnitzelPlease Sat 23-May-20 17:26:07

@FatherWindyShepherdHenderson I don't know if your comment was directed at me or others on the thread, but we are all just sharing what works in our gardens. I buy birdseed, peanuts and fat balls, that is hardly suggesting a wide range of expensive food. The same seed goes on my birdtable and feeders, no one is saying that you need to buy separate food for each feeder. I can only share what works in my very small garden, adjust accordingly based on budget, size of garden, etc. Feeding the birds brings me joy and I love watching them.

OP that's great! Give the birds a few weeks to find the food, don't be disheartened if you don't see many to begin with.

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 30-May-20 12:13:03

Well the foods going early morning again, saw what might have been a great tit this morning at 6:15am.

The soaked meal worms bombed so I’ll save till autumn.

My new feeders should be here next week.

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