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Old 01-01-2012, 09:12 PM
 
384 posts, read 491,241 times
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I live in Maine's White Mountains, and decided to put up a birdfeeder in late Fall. It's a hanging feeder in a very quiet area. It's been four weeks now and it is completely untouched. I realize that with the lack of snow and warmer temps there is still adequate food supply for the birds, but I thought they'd come running to a feeder chockablock full of birdseed. I don't plan on having it up come Spring because we have too many bears in the area. Any ideas on why they don't visit the bird feeder? They haven't all gone South for the winter!
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Old 01-01-2012, 10:31 PM
 
Location: Central Maine
1,322 posts, read 1,529,103 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gcberry View Post
I live in Maine's White Mountains, and decided to put up a birdfeeder in late Fall. It's a hanging feeder in a very quiet area. It's been four weeks now and it is completely untouched. I realize that with the lack of snow and warmer temps there is still adequate food supply for the birds, but I thought they'd come running to a feeder chockablock full of birdseed. I don't plan on having it up come Spring because we have too many bears in the area. Any ideas on why they don't visit the bird feeder? They haven't all gone South for the winter!
What kind of seed and what kind of feeder?

Tube feeder with sunflower seeds: chickadees
Sock feeder with niger seed: goldfinches
Suet feeder: woodpeckers and blue jays
Corn on ground: doves, blue jays, squirrels

Skip the mixed seed stuff. Most is junk.
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Old 01-02-2012, 06:26 AM
 
Location: 3.5 sq mile island ant nest next to Canada
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I have the same situation here. Usually each year. Too warm and most of the birds are able to find other food. I throw some on the ground the first part of winter, normally. Helps them find the right areas. Pigeons have not troouble though. Give them some time and they'll show up eventually. Last year I had to drive off the deer from the feeders too. I used balck oil sunflower, some suet, and a mixed seed in another feeder(s). Chickadees and pigeons love the sunflower.
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Old 01-02-2012, 08:15 AM
 
Location: Maine
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gcberry,

I have feeders in my yard, and I've noticed that even though they are visited often, that if I try to move the feeder closer to the house, they won't come to it for some reason (even though they're used to coming to them). I have mine positioned midway from the house and the woods (about 30 feet away). I suspect that they like to be closer to the woods than the house so that they can quickly seek cover. They really love jumping into the norway spruce that I have just a few feet from the feeders.

I have tried placing my heated birdbath in different locations, and nothing. Then I placed it next to the stone one near the woods (that's not used in the winter because it freezes), and voila... the birds are perched on the heated birdbath like it was a hot-tub - but they wouldn't go near it when I had it over near my garage, or positioned in my flower garden near the house. Go figure.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that you might need to experiment with the placement. Have faith, and keep trying. Please don't give up. Birds are such a joy, and one of the many wonderful things about living in Maine.

Oooooo I envy you living in the White Mountains. I so would love to live there.
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Old 01-02-2012, 08:23 AM
 
Location: Central Maine
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Originally Posted by inthewoods View Post
I guess what I'm trying to say is that you might need to experiment with the placement. Have faith, and keep trying. Please don't give up. Birds are such a joy, and one of the many wonderful things about living in Maine.
This is true. Birds like cover, so they will come to your feeder easier if there are trees around your feeders. Also, some birds need something to break seeds open on (e.g. chickadees), so want a tree handy.

Do you have any cats around? Cat's kill more songbirds than virtually any other animal and one will drive birds away from your feeders. If you own a cat and let it outside, do the birds a favor and take down the feeders.
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Old 01-02-2012, 02:33 PM
 
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Hooray for bangorme, on the ''CAT" tip, cats have decimated certain species of song birds, some levels are so low they meet the criteria of endangered species, another tip, once you start feeding they become almost dependant on that source of food, it's important to keep your feeder filled.
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Old 01-03-2012, 02:15 AM
 
384 posts, read 491,241 times
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I don't have cats. It is a tube feeder; mixed seed. Close to house but surounded by trees. Might be "junk" seed (it wasn't expensive) but I figure a hungry bird wouldn't be so picky in winter. I think it's probably due to lack of snow on ground and a still-adequate natural food supply. But maybe I'll try changing the location after all.
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Old 01-03-2012, 05:11 AM
 
Location: 3.5 sq mile island ant nest next to Canada
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I have two in the lilac and one larger one in the kitchen picture window. They all get quite a bit of use when the snow hits. Chickadees, bluejays, starlings, etc. Very few cats in the neighborhood to scare them off. gc, you're right. They get hungry enough they will come.
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Old 01-03-2012, 07:13 AM
 
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If there is no snow they bcan find stuff on the ground and in the trees. You'll notice them later on when it gets colder and snow is on the ground.
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Old 01-03-2012, 08:00 AM
 
Location: NJ
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Some brands of birdseed are apparently unpalatable to birds.

I'd try using thistle seed in your area and depending whta other birds are around or migrating through, select a food that might work for them. Get specialized as your area, if homogenous forest, will have fewer species than someplace with more edge and varying heights of vegetation. Attracting 'birds' is best accomplished when you have a good idea as to what species are around during what seasons. then think in terms of attracting specific bird species. Perhpas growing some plants that hold berries or seeds into the winter in an effort to put your feeder on the 'map' so to speak.

Hawks could be luring nearby as well as owls.

One thing you need to do when first starting a birdfeeder that is not listed on the bird's daily itinerary is to advertize. Toss out some corn and cheaper birdseed so it can easily be seen. Get non target species coming in and the 'rucous' will eventually attract the attention of every critter within earshot.

Good to have the feeder in a place close to cover to give birds security from hawks but too low a location or too brushy might make it easier for predators to stike.

Most birds that remain in an area have a reliable food source that probably consists of some type of berries or tree seeds. there are also lingering seasonal sources and 'favorites' that are prioritized. Find our what and where the birds are in the absence of a feeder to understand what is happening. Maybe a neighbor has an established bird seed supermarket going full blast that generations of birds know about and rely on?
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