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How Do Birds Find Bird Feeders? What You Need to Know!

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garden bird feeder

Birds are one of the most common backyard visitors and many people enjoy feeding them. But how do birds know where to find bird feeders? There are many things to consider when attempting to attract birds to your backyard as birds can find feeders using their senses of sight, smell, and hearing.

In this article, we will take a look at some of the ways birds navigate their environment and how you can use these methods to direct them to your feeders.

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Birds use their excellent vision to find bird feeders. They are able to see colors and movement very well and can spot a feeder from a long distance away. This is why it is important to place your feeder in a visible location where birds can easily see it. You may also want to hang a feeder from a tree or post so birds can perch on it while they eat.

decorative feeder
Image Credit: Piqsels


One way that birds find bird feeders is by hearing the sound of the food being dispensed. When a bird feeder is full, it makes a noise as the seeds fall to the ground. This noise can be heard from a distance and attracts birds to the feeder. They are able to do this because they can hear higher frequencies than humans. This means that they can hear the sound of the bird feeder moving, even if it is far away. Freshwater is essential for birds, and they listen for the sound of water too. Running water in a birdbath is another way to attract birds to feeders.


Ignore everything you’ve heard about birds not having noses and therefore not having a sense of smell. Birds can smell very well, and some can locate food by smell alone. Smelling seeds may help some bird species determine which feeders have food.

soda bottle feeder
Image Credit: Sandra Petersen, Pixabay

How Do I Get Birds to Come to My Bird Feeder?

There are a few things that you can do to get birds to come to your bird feeder. One is to place the feeder in an area where there is a lot of vegetation, as birds like to hide when they are eating. The best way to get birds to come to your bird feeder is to provide a variety of food options that appeal to different types of birds. This can include a mix of seeds, nuts, fruits, and insects. You can also provide a source of fresh water for birds to drink.

It is important to keep the bird feeder stocked with food regularly so that the birds always have something to eat. Finally, make sure to keep the feeder clean and full of food, as birds will be less likely to visit a dirty feeder.

How Long Does it Take for Birds to Find a Feeder?

There is no set time frame for how long it takes birds to find a feeder. Some birds may find a feeder within minutes, while others may take hours, days, or even months. Birds that are familiar with an area are more likely to find a feeder quickly, whereas migratory birds will have fewer opportunities.

Place your feeder in the right spot to be found by the kind of bird you want to attract. Feeders can be seen from the air by many birds, especially if they are out in the open. Birds that forage in foliage can find feeders placed among shrubs and trees.

cardinal bird perching
Image Credit: Piqsels

Why Are No Birds Coming to My Feeder?

This could be for a variety of reasons. One possibility is that the feeder is not in a good location. The feeder should be placed in an area where the birds can easily see it and access it. Another possibility is that the feeder is not clean. The feeder should be cleaned regularly to prevent the build-up of mold and bacteria.

Where is the Best Place To Put a Bird Feeder?

The best place to put a bird feeder is generally in an open area where birds can see it from a distance. Additionally, if you place it close to trees or another source of natural cover, this will provide birds with both a place to eat and a place to hide from predators. It will allow them to approach the feeder without feeling threatened. It is also important to place the feeder close to a source of water, as birds need to drink regularly.

brid feeder
Image Credit: PilotBrent, Pixabay

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In Conclusion

Birds can find bird feeders by using their exceptional senses of sight, smell, and hearing. They are able to see the feeder from a distance and identify where the food is coming from. They can also hear the sound of the feeder being filled or the birds that are eating at the feeder.

Finally, they can smell the food that is being dispensed from the feeder. All of these senses help birds locate bird feeders quickly and easily.

Featured Image Credit: PhillipsC, Shutterstock

About the Author Robert Sparks

Robert’s obsession with all things optical started early in life, when his optician father would bring home prototypes for Robert to play with. Nowadays, Robert is dedicated to helping others find the right optics for their needs. His hobbies include astronomy, astrophysics, and model building. Originally from Newark, NJ, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the nighttime skies are filled with glittering stars.