BIrd feeder - invitation to treat?

edited February 2011 in Local discussion
I've just been gifted a bird feeder. It attaches to a window, so I was hoping to get a closer look a a tit's jizz, however, the poor things don't seem to know it's there. Does anyone have tips on how I can encourage them to visit? (Tips that don't involve messing around with fat balls.)


  • edited 4:07AM
    Have you thought about putting some nuts in it?
  • edited 4:07AM
    It takes a while, if you've not had feeders out before. You could put another feeder near it in the garden. Let that one run down and they'll come to the window one. They're a bit shy and won't come if you stand by the window or if the lights are on. Eventually you'll probably get sick of it, because of the droppings and debris they leave underneath it. The squirrels also launch themselves on to it and hang, until it pops off the window.
  • edited 4:07AM
    I get tits. They can come reasonably close to the back door, but they're a nervous lot. Usually any attempt to attract them exclusively results in attracting all the undesirables - giant pigeons, bastard squirrels and those bloody awful magpies, who think nothing of tearing a wee tit to pieces. My best advice is to 'zone' your bird feed. I have half coconut shells, which I stuff with used oil, bacon rind, stale bread etc. all molded together. I've had robins hovering to feed at them like humming birds. These are good for the tits as they can hang from them and peck.
  • edited 4:07AM
    Put the hottest chilli powder money can buy over the bird feeder and food. That will deter the squirrels and doesn't harm the feathered folk. Be patient tosscat. As Dorothy says, it does take a while for birds to come to a new feeder as they like to make sure it's safe first - no cats etc. I have two mesh feeders, one has seeds in it the other has peanuts and seeds. I get spotted woodpeckers, chaffinches, tits (great, blue and long tailed) greenfinches, goldfinches and goldcrests in my garden. Blackbirds, woodpigeons and robins forage about for leftovers underneath the feeders too. Most of them seem to be nesting in the trees and bushes at the end of the garden and I usually see plenty of fledglings learning to feed in the Spring. I absolutely love watching all the action, it's delightful. I'm on the wrong side of the SG tracks so I imagine you'll get all these and more in the leafy splendour of the Upper East Side.
  • edited 4:07AM
    any advice on an alternate problem with the local tits. I am lucky enough to have a large piece of glass at the back of the kitchen, so I get to watch the birds and enjoy the seasons witha cup of coffee in my hand. Currently one of the tits (at least I'm assuming it's always the same one) has decided he'd like to come in, and spends a large amount of time flying at the glass and pecking at it. I thought maybe he'd learn and would leave it be...but no...everyday, flying at it and pecking at it. Any advice urban bird lovers?
  • edited 4:07AM
    Let him in and make him a coffee?

  • edited 4:07AM
    Any tits on your nuts yet?
  • edited 4:07AM
    Yes. One, but it's very timid. It'll just take time.
  • edited 4:07AM
    I had a woodpecker trying to get at the last peanut out of the bird feeder stuck to my bedroom window. Such excitement!
  • edited 4:07AM
    I would be so excited I would scare it away.
  • edited December 2017
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  • edited October 2011
    @tosscat: it does take a while for birds to realise food is there and to trust it as a regular source of food. But now you've got one, more should follow.

    @helen: it's probably trying to fight its own reflection. There are stickers you can get to put in the window. RSPB advice here:

    I work on a birdwatching magazine. I spend most of my day giggling like a schoolgirl about tits, shags, boobys etc.
  • valval
    edited 4:07AM
    When I put nigella seed in a feeder I was delighted to see two goldfinches - first time ever, and the only time - but by the next day a squirrel had bitten through and the seed was running out. I wrote to The Nuttery, the company that makes squirrel-proof bird feeders and was told that, yes, they were planning to produce a squirrel-proof nigella seed feeder.
  • Moray Road goldfinches are back!
  • We have four gold finches for the first time in Cornwall Rd. they are really messy and for every seed that they eat they drop half a dozen. The pigeons are having a field day. Miss annie your suggestion of chili power on the feeder didn't work, squirrels still think our feeders are an all you can eat!
  • Someone told me squirrels don't like garlic, I used to sprinkle garlic granules round newly planted flowers and bulbs to deter them and I think it worked reasonably well. Perhaps try that.<br><br><br>
  • Hmm will try that next, I have even oiled the pole where the feeders are hanging (suggestion on the web) but the dog thought it was great fun to lick it all off instead. The battle with the squirrels continues.
  • in the new year we got a lovely new feeder that attaches to the window with suction cups - seeds and fat balls are attracting the blue tits and robins and even better, absolutely no way for the squirrels to get near (until they attach suction cups to their feet that is)<br>
  • I wouldn't put that past your average squirrel. Tricksy little buggers they are.<br>
  • didn't want to miss out on all the bird fun.<br>we don't have any gold finches on our bit of moray  :(  but we have a lovely family of wrens been around here here for years and years.  we get the usual tits plus coal tits and of course mr and mrs blackbird and occaisional raids by magpies, thrushes and starlings at different times of year.  I tend to chase the startlings away (armwaving and with load clapping) as dont want them to think they can just muscle in in a big pack.  an occasional jay but  long time since seen any sparrows.  We have fat and seed filled  half coconuts and seeds and happily only the occasional squirrel.<br>
  • So far today ... pair of chaffinches, pair of greenfinches,  a charm of goldfinches, blackbirds, magpies, wood pigeons and endless blue tits, great tits and one robin.
  • I love that the collective noun for Goldfinches is charm.<br>
  • You lucky lucky thing! We mostly have great tits, goldfinches, robins and sparrows. A starling was on the feeder at the weekend but haven't seen it since. The squirrel is still helping itself to the nuts though and nothing has worked to deter it. More recommendations welcome.
  • But squirrels need to eat too! <br><br>I haven't got a garden, but the dawn chorus outside my window is ramping up at the moment. Such a nice way to wake up. <br>
  • I tend to stay up late - the dawn chorus is how I know it's time to go to bed!
  • I would rather feed the birds.......
  • I can't seem to get the feathered chaps to visit the feeder I have on the outside of my window either.  The garden I overlook seems to draw in birds easily enough, so I am feeling a little neglected.  I've tried RSPB bird feed, plus homemade fat balls mixed with nuts.  Still no takers :/<br>
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