Attract Birds to Your Bird Feeder With These Hacks

You'll have an easier time birdwatching when your feeder is being visited by more birds.

Lauren Wellbank - Author

Jun. 5 2024, Published 2:57 p.m. ET

A goldfinch visits a backyard bird feeder
Source: Getty Images

Birds can provide an endless source of backyard entertainment, which is why so many people opt to add bird feeders to their properties. The best part about these outdoor additions is that you don't need a ton of space to install one. Plus, the wide variety of feeders available means you should be able to find one that's right for you home, no matter whether you live in a house, condo, or even an apartment building.

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But getting those first few feathered visitors to your yard can be tricky, especially if you don't know how to get birds to come to your bird feeder. Fortunately, I've rounded up five great tips that are sure to bring birds to your yard a little bit easier. Continue reading to learn more.

Closeup of a Brambling eating sunflower seeds from a bird feeder
Source: Getty Images
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Figure out which types of birds you want to attract, and then get the right type of bird feeder.

Different birds like different feed and different types of feeders. For example, Better Homes & Gardens points out that hopper style feeders are good for most types of birds and the seeds they enjoy; conversely, smaller birds like finches and chickadees may prefer tube feeders, which are best for storing and distributing smaller style seeds.

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Offer the birds something to drink while they eat.

According to the National Wildlife Federation, having a consistent water supply will help increase the number of avian visitors you have in your yard. For the best results, they suggest changing out the water every two to three days during the warmer months, and adding a heater to your birdhouse during the colder months.

You'll also need to ensure that any water source you're using won't put your bird visitors at risk, so don't put your birdhouse next to anything that would make a good hiding place for predators.

Grow native plants.

If you want to see more birds at your feeder, you'll want to ensure that your yard is full of the plants that they use to survive. This includes native varieties which they often instinctually flock to, either to feed or to build their nests. To find out what plants are native to your area, you can visit a website like Native Plant Finder and search by your zip code.

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Don't use pesticides or chemical treatments.

Sometimes you get birds in your yard because they followed a yummy looking bug there. But, if you've recently treated your home or garden with an insecticide, there might not be any of those tasty morsels to follow, which means they could head elsewhere. Not only that, but allowing your yard to remain part of the ecosystem by keeping a wide variety of insect life around means that you'll likely have better luck with pollination, which will help those all-important native plants to thrive.

Maintain your bird feeders.

Not only do you need to make sure that your bird feeders are always full, but you want to stay on top of cleaning them to prevent any type of disease, mildew, or mold buildup from forming. Not only can these be dangerous for the birds that do come to your yard, but they can prevent the birds that visit from coming back again. After all, how likely would you be to return to a restaurant that served your meal on dirty plates?

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