Getting birds to eat


The other day I bought two bird feeders, one for hummingbirds and one for song birds. I filled them up immediately, but so far they haven’t had any visitors. I thought with the warm winter we had there would be hummingbirds, but I did some research and it looks hormones determine their migration, not weather. California often has year round hummingbirds, but I can’t say I’ve ever paid much attention. This bird thing is all new to me! Thanks, Nico.

Songbirds we have, because I can hear them in the early morning. I’m not sure why they won’t eat from my feeder. I did buy good quality songbird food, so I’m not sure what’s up. Time for more research, I suppose.

The above picture is from a garden that caters to birds, insects, and other wild animals. The owners joke that it’s a free outdoor restaurant. I would love a garden like this! It’s pretty, not too fussy or formal, and colorful. If you’ve never looked at the garden photos on flickr, then you’re missing out. There are some seriously talented gardeners in the world.

I did a post about gardens for Wayfair this month–this one about must-have garden tools. I would love for your to check it out–or at the very least throw me a bone and click on the link. Hah!


Jules Kendall writes about books, family, and easygoing simplicity.


  1. Caryn says

    It takes a little time. Once one bird is brave enough to try it, you’ll be in business! It took two weeks for birds to use our feeder even though there were lots of birds in the yard!

  2. says

    Echoing the above comments. I had my feeders out for awhile before I started getting birds but now I’m sending texts to my birding mother telling her all about the ones I see out my window (I am beyond nerdy but so is she, thankfully).

    And your backyard? Gorgeous!!! Mine is still mostly brown but the grass is starting to green up and I have a few daffodil/tulips peeking out their heads. Spring is coming!!

    • says

      That is NOT my backyard! I wish! As much as I love gardening and plants, you would never, ever know by looking at our backyard. We just never had the month to do anything more than keep the grass green. I’m hoping that will change this summer.

  3. says

    I agree that it will take a little while. In my garden in Santa Fe it took a few weeks and after that, I couldn’t keep the bird feeders full enough. You might want to add water…a shallow bird bath with a “jiggler” to move the water will attract birds also. I have a “jiggler” (scientific term, lol) that I bought in a bird store for $30 – two D batteries last about six months.

    I’m temporarily in Corona and there are tons of hummers in this neighborhood!

  4. says

    Another thing I just thought on bird food: For most feeders you can just use a blend of black-oil sunflower and safflower seeds. I buy bags in bulk from the area farm store and then mix them in a big galvanized garbage can. If you have a thistle or suet or hummingbird feeders, you’ll obviously want to use thistle or suet or nectar but if you are looking for song birds – all you need is a sunflower/safflower mix – the rest is mostly filler. Just for future purchases :) Birds will eat it, but don’t really need it.

  5. says

    I’ll echo the wait-a-bit and they’ll discover it comments … also, I clicked the link to the garden tools discussion, and was very interested to see you recommend the hori hori knife. I was contemplating getting one but hadn’t ever heard anyone talk about their usefulness (or lack thereof). So I may have to reconsider!

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