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Are Your Bird Feeders in the Right Place?

March 26, 2019

Many gardeners love attracting wild birds to their yard! The best way to do this is by adding bird feeders to your space (along with other things birds love, like shrubs for shelter and bird baths for drinking water). If you want to maximize the number of beautiful birds you get, you’ll want to make sure you have the right bird feeders in the right places. Read on to find out more!


Copy the Natural World

Many birds are already used to finding food in nature, so they’ll respond best when you place their food where it would naturally be. For example, if you’re providing suet cakes for woodpeckers, you’ll want to place the suet feeder on a thick branch or a tree trunk instead of on a hook in the middle of your garden. If you are feeding birds that enjoy nectar, then you should place the feeder among nectar-producing flowers in your garden. And, if you notice that the birds in your yard prefer to feed off the ground, then a feeder closer to the ground will probably be more popular than one hung high in a tree.

One more tip: birds are attracted to the sound of running water. Whether in the wild or in someone’s backyard, they enjoy having a food source that’s near a water source. So, having a nearby water feature like a fountain or birdbath is a great idea!

Make the Feeder Visible, Yet Safe and Secure

Placing a feeder in the middle of an open area helps birds see the feeder, and it also helps them watch out for danger while they’re feeding. However, they still require shelter nearby—preferably about 10-12 feet away. Shrubs, trees, and brush piles can make good shelter for songbirds. You’ll definitely need to keep the birds’ safety in mind, especially if you have predators on the prowl like cats or hawks.

Give the Birds Enough Space

You don’t want bird-on-bird bullying destroying the peace and quiet of your garden and scaring off the songbirds! Having only one bird feeder, or having a few that are very close to one another, can sometimes backfire on you. Some types of birds (including blue jays, crows, starlings, and pigeons) are territorial and will fight off other birds that encroach on their space. If you notice any aggression among the flocks in your yard, you probably have a bully, and it may help if you add another bird feeder or two a distance away so that each flock can have its own space.

Form and Function

Of course, you probably care about how the bird feeder looks, not just how it functions. You’ll want to choose a place where you can show off the beauty of your bird feeder and the flocks that are using it. Give yourself a clear and unobstructed view from one or more windows, or if you spend a lot of time in your yard, place them a short distance away from the area where you spend the most time (far enough away to avoid disturbing the birds, but close enough to enjoy them). Also, put the feeders in a place where they’re easy to refill.

Now that you’re armed with bird feeder placement tips, you can start shopping for the perfect ones for your yard. Check out the bird feeders we have to offer at the Garden Gates!

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