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A window bird feeder is a perfect way to introduce the birds in your area to your home. There are many benefits that come from feeding birds, including healthier ecosystems and more natural pest control.. And you’ll probably fall in love with the process of feeding them too!

Whether you have purchased one or made your own DIY window bird feeder, the next step is to attract some feathered friends for regular meals. But this may be more difficult than you think. Simply hanging a feeder with some food and waiting could lead to very lengthy and quiet periods with no visitors at all.

Our 16 Top Tips

If you want to attract birds to your window bird feeder, then you should know the best way to do it. Here’s how:

Using Different Plants & Materials

Making the area around the window feeders with natural materials is a great way to attract small garden birds. For example, use rocks, twigs and branches. This will make the area more comfortable for birds.

Also, put some bird-friendly plants near your window bird feeders to encourage them to stay longer. If you are interested in attracting different types of bird species, then planting a variety could be a good idea as well.

If you want to attract a particular type of bird, like finches or sparrows, then place some bird-friendly plants that they like near your window feeder. They love eating the seed, but they may also want to feast on some of the berries and fruits if they are close enough.

Offer a Varied Diet

Offering the widest range of food is ideal. Put out some seed, suet, sunflower hearts, corn or nuts for attracting birds to enjoy! Feed them regularly, and you will be rewarded with more visitors to your window feeder! Your door may also open to letting in more of these beautiful birds.

Fill your window feeder with a continuous supply of sunflower seeds and peanuts in addition to a mix of fruit and nuts like dried sweet cherries, pecans, blueberries, raisins, and unsalted mixed nuts. If you want insect-eating birds like swallows, blue tits and house sparrows, be sure to include live mealworms in your window feeders.

Offering a steady stream of their favourite food will keep garden birds coming to your window feeders on a daily basis all year round.

Suet Nuggets and Fat Balls

Birds love suet and fat balls. Hang a suet feeder from the exterior of your home using a chain or string. The suet will not only attract birds, but will also help keep them healthy, full of fat, and well-nourished for the winter months.

In addition to this, don’t put out a suet feeder in the summer because heat makes it go bad and attracts insects that are unhealthy for the birds to eat.

Keep Them Safe

Hang the window feeder high off the ground and ensure it is out of reach from cats and other predators. Once birds feel safe coming to your window, they will return over and over.

Keep The Area Clean

Make sure you clean up around the feeder regularly to prevent other animals besides birds eating from it. Not only will other animals quickly deplete your stock, but messy and dirty bird feeders can attract rats and squirrels, which will scare small garden birds away. For more information, read our post on how to stop rats from eating bird food.

Clean out the seed at least once a week, as this will help keep your birds healthy too.

Rats eating fallen seed
Rats eating fallen seed from a bird feeder

Placing Seed Outside

Placing birdseed on the ground around the surrounding area of your house will also help attract birds to your window feeder. They can find their way to the food easily that way, but it is not very convenient for them and may even deter them away from your window feeders, so you should take extra measures to make them feel at home.

Choosing The Right Height

Hanging anywhere from four to six feet above ground is best for attracting hummingbirds. These birds will not use the feeder at all without adequate height.

Use Multiple Feeders

With a little extra cost, put in a couple of feeders, as having multiple bird feeders will give them an option between which one to use on any given day. Allowing them to meet and feed at one or the other multiplies your chances of having numerous species attracted to your window.

Also, birds love to socialise and what better way for them to gather around and perch at your window while you watch.

Keep The Food Fresh

Make sure to maintain your feeder regularly by removing any old seeds and fruit (should it go bad) and replacing them with new food sources every few months (this will also improve bird health over time).

Use safe seed like black sunflower seeds, safflower and peanuts, which are all very abundant in the bird’s diet, so they will stay satisfied longer than they would if you were using something less common like millet or sorghum meal.

Keep Squirrels Out

If you want to keep squirrels from getting in and stealing your bird food, buy or make a squirrel guard to prevent squirrels from accessing your window feeder. There are many designs of window bird feeders that you can choose from, some of which will help to keep the squirrels away. These feeders rotate so that no matter where the squirrel climbs on, they will not be able to get any food at all.

Squirrel stealing food from a bird feeder
Squirrel stealing food from a bird feeder

Learn Their Feeding Habits

Find out what time of the day is best for birds in your area. Generally, they like to feed early and late in the day. If you want to attract more birds, you can try putting out more seed at different times.

Also, it might be an idea to stay away from the garden or the window nearest your feeders during this time as it could deter them and scare your birds away.

Good Lighting

Ensure that the sunlight reaches the bottom of your feeder because this is when the birds will be most active feeding at it. Place it in an area where there will be sunlight coming in through your windows and through a tree or bushes close by.

Choose Your Bird Species

Find out which wild birds you want to attract and what they like to eat (some feeders will be better for attracting certain types of bird than others)

As a general rule, if you want a wider variety of bird species, you should try and stick to attracting small birds to a window feeder. Many different types, such as coal tits and chaffinches, will happily feast regularly once attracted to your feeder.

Other bird feeders hanging on trees are great for big birds, but a window feeder has less room for smaller birds to sit and eat. This could not only damage your window feeder, but could intimidate our smaller feathery friends into not coming back.

A large tit on the window in the house.
Great tits eating from a window bird feeder

Offer a Bird Bath

If you are finding that birds are coming to your window and eating but not sticking around to get cleaned up, place a water feature nearby so they can have their bath after they eat.

A great idea would be to offer a birdbath with suction cups attached to your windows below the feeder to provide the birds with water. They enjoy bathing in the water feature and will eat their food after a good wash.

You can also put a dish with water all around your house, but you should ensure that your home does not have any dogs, cats or other pets as predators may go after small birds.

Offer a Bird Table

Bird tables are very good at attracting wild birds of all different types. Having a bird feed on a table near your window can sometimes be enough for a curious jay or sparrow to see the hanging feeder and fly over.

Have Patience

It might take a while for backyard birds to find their new home, but eventually, they will seek out food sources in any location they are comfortable with, even if it’s at the glass window of your home. Once you get them to perch and feed at your window, follow a combination of the tips above, and they will become regular visitors, sometimes popping by for a short period even if the feeder is empty.

The Final Word

Window feeders offer an excellent way to get up close and watch birds feed. To attract them, all you will need to do is put out some good quality wild bird food, water and a safe place for them to relax while they feed.

Now you know how to attract birds to a window bird feeder, hang one in a place where it will be visible from inside, sit back, and enjoy watching them from the comfort of your home.

However, do not be surprised if you don’t view birds at your window feeder for a couple of days. Some people are lucky enough to have visitors on the same day, while others can wait up to a week. It takes time for the birds to adjust to new feeders and environments, but just be patient.

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