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September 24, 2009

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The Zen Birdfeeder

Roger, sometimes when you change things up, birds take a while to get used it. They fall back on what they know! Give it some time, or remove the other feeder temporarily. Good luck and have fun feeding the birds!

Roger

I recently added a much larger bird feeder close to my original bird feeder the birds have stopped coming what should I do

The Zen Birdfeeder

Isabelle, sometimes it takes birds awhile to find new feeders and to recognize them as a food source. Spread some seed underneath the feeder and temporarily tie a ribbon around the feeder to attract their attention.
Check out this post about the Rule of 2s and hanging a new birdfeeder http://wildbirdsunlimited.typepad.com/the_zen_birdfeeder/2011/03/hanging-new-birdfeeder-rule-of-twos.html

The Zen Birdfeeder

Re Johnson, I haven't heard before about peppermint stopping bird activity. I guess time will tell.
What we find is that sometimes a change of routine (a different feeder) takes awhile for the birds to adjust to. They may not recognize it as a source of food.
Be patient, and keep the seed dry and loose. Fill the feeder only halfway until they start to use it.
Good luck!

isabelle reali

I put bird feeders out for the first time yesterday and they all but not today. I thought maybe the food was old so I threw it out and bought new but no birds at all.

Re Johnson

We have had birds of about 7 species coming in for five years, now nothing , I added a brand new feeder filled with top notch seed , still not a chirp , peep or peck. What I think : I poured strong peppermint oil all around the house ( stops mice) a couple of weeks ago. But there is a hummingbird feeder 15 ft from bird seed and we have hummingbirds coming in all day. We miss our feeding birds.

The Zen Birdfeeder

John, thank you for your sincere concern for the birds!
Bleach is perfectly safe to use to clean birdfeeders when used in the proper dilution (9-10 parts water to 1 part bleach) and thoroughly rinsed. Water is fine for that rinse.
I also strongly recommend a good drying in the sun as well.
Bleach will kill bacteria and mold, so it is a good option for cleaning birdfeeders.
Enjoy the birds!

John H

I wouldn't have thought bleach, even in the diluted solution, would be ok to use to clean the feeder. Bleach just makes me nervous, knowing how powerful it is. Is there anything else that would be safe to use and effective, or would just a very thorough rinsing after cleaning be sufficient to remove the bleach? Thank you.

The Zen Birdfeeder

Ilisa, the raccoon scent might affect the squirrel's interest in the feeder, but I wouldn't think the scent alone would keep the birds away.

Ilisa

I have a large box mounted outside my window filled with bird seed. Both birds and squirrels had been enjoying it all day. For the last ten nights a raccoon comes and sits in the box and eats. Now the birds and squirrels have stopped visiting. Is it possible the scent of the raccoon is keeping them away?

The Zen Birdfeeder

Julie, if you have an identical feeder filled with identical food, it's probably the location they're not liking as much as the other locations. Try moving it a little to try to find a location they like.

Julie

Its only one feeder they will not come too. They like all the others. I just don't understand. Its all the same feed.

The Zen Birdfeeder

I'm sorry I can't answer your question, L.C. Possibly insect damage, or lack of the proper nutrient? Or perhaps, like you said, they were bred for show and not for the seed. Good luck in your search for an answer!

L. C. Nelson

I raised the seed myself but there doesn't seem to have anything in the seed. Could this be there is such a thing as hybrid seed?

The Zen Birdfeeder

Theresa, welcoming to the world of birdfeeding. Activity at birdfeeders is naturally cyclical, but do feed the birds year-round. When bird activity slows, just put less out! When it picks up, add more feeders and more food. Most importantly, have fun!!

Theresa Balkcom

Just want to say being new to feeding & really enjoying the birds in my yard I have had many questions which your site was the answer to all of them. Will miss them at the feeder but realize there are many sources of food in my area for them now as winter has past. "The Cardinal Family" I have watched has taught me so much. They are a Joy to watch taking care of Family.

The Zen Birdfeeder

Ryan, robins do not typically eat seeds from birdfeeders. They might eat from a crumbled suet that has fruit in it, or live mealworms, or softened fruit. They will also visit birdbaths. So don't be disappointed if your robin doesn't eat from your feeders, it's just a robin being a robin!

The Zen Birdfeeder

Larry, at this point, I'd just suggest a little patience until the birds get used to a new feeder. Like humans, sometimes it takes while for them to get used to change!

Angela

we have fed the birds in our garden for many years now, but the last two weeks they have stopped coming, why is that.

How can we encourage them to return as we lovely watching them

Ryan

Hi, I have had a single robin(female) visit my feeder for the past week now, but now she just hangs around it and never eats from it, could this mean it needs new seeds in it, I also provide suet balls they look fine and nuts they also look fine

How can I tell if the seeds need changed?

Larry

I bought a new hopper bird feeder made out of recycled Materials. I put it in the same spot where I had another feeder. The birds will come to feed on the ground but not go onto this feeder. They look at the feeder but want nothing to do with it. Same food also. Any suggestions?

The Zen Birdfeeder

Lisa, thanks for your "thumbs up"!

The Zen Birdfeeder

Bill, the predator in the area could very well impact the activity at your birdfeeder, but it also could be that they are still feeding on natural food sources that are still available. While activity is slower, only fill your feeders halfway. Then when it picks up again, fill them more. Good luck!

Lisa

Wow I just stumbled stumbled upon your site trying to get an answer on how long it would take before the birds noticed my new feeder. I love this site. Lots of information.

Thanks!!

Bill

I work hard keeping my feeders filled and freshness is not a problem, One feeder I had to fill every other day. Now it stays full for a week or more. I have noticed a rather large hawk coming into the area and he may be the culprit.
I did accidentally purchase a feed that was filled with millet, red millet and black oil sunflower seed. I mixed more sunflower seed into the mixture, then it seemed like the feeding slowed.
I went back to 100% black-oil sunflower seeds but the birds just have not been as plentiful.

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ATTENTION

  • Our eyes and ears should be open and alert to the natural wonders that surround us every day. Take time to look out our windows to see the birds that visit us and open our windows to hear them. Walk around whatever space we have to enjoy the birds in nature. Every day, work on improving our powers of observation.

ACCEPTANCE

  • Nature happens. We cannot MAKE natural things happen (or NOT happen). We can create habitats to encourage natural things to happen around us, but there are no guarantees.

RESPONSIBILITY

  • Birdfeeding comes with responsibilities to the birds and the environment we share with them. If you are unwilling to accept these responsibilities, you shouldn’t feed the birds. We also have a responsibility to share these natural wonders with the next generation.