You have set up the bird feeder in front of your kitchen window; you have sourced the best anti-rodent devices money can buy; you have painstakingly filled the feeders with a plethora of different types of seeds that the shop assistant assured you ALL birds would love, and you have strung up fat balls that now just resemble dodgy-looking Chinese lanterns. You’re sitting quietly, drinking your morning cup of coffee and yet there are no colourful, feathery little birdies flapping round, enjoying your offerings. Chances are you have fallen foul of the most common mistakes that novices make when trying to attract wild birds to their garden feeders. We will address these simple errors below and before you know it you will have more bird poop to clean up than you ever thought possible.
The biggest mistake that the majority of novices make is choosing bird seed for birds they hope to attract, not birds that they can attract. So take note of which types of birds most frequent your garden as it isn’t the case that one type of seed suits all bird tastes, like one food cuisine doesn’t appeal to all human tastes. Take some time to learn which birds are native to where you live and what types in particular flit about in your garden, then acquire their favourite type of seeds and fill your feeders with that. Remember that birds are naturally sociable and inquisitive beings and when they witness the feeding frenzy fracas that will soon be occurring around your feeder they will want to come and see what all the fuss is about. Only then should you widen your seed variety in order to accommodate a much broader range of tastes. If you’re in any doubt and you can’t tell your sparrows from your robins, then keep it simple and start off with the seed that attracts the widest number of birds and that is the sunflower seed, especially the black oil sunflower seeds. Sunflower seeds have very thin shells that are easy to open for all beak sizes and strengths. Last but not least, try and steer clear from seed packs that claim to have a multitude of different types of seeds; odds are that they will be packed out with cheap bulking agents such as red millet and oats, and nothing clears the bird feeder quite like red millet and oats.