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yvette303

I have had a bird feeder hanging in my garden for some time now and it has always been very well used by a variety of little birds, who in turn sprinkle enough to keep the ground feeding birds happy too.

About a month ago I notice that it was grubby so took it down and gave it a good wash and then refilled.

Since then the birds just aren't using it anymore. I see them in the garden but they arent going anywhere near the feeder.

I'm baffled! 

nutcutlet

Could the smell of whatever you washed it in be stronger than the smell of the food?What are you offering? Sunflower seeds go quickest here. Peanuts and niger second. Mixed seeds are scattered eveywhere to get at the sunflower seeds so I usually put it on the ground. A few fat balls bring in all sorts of birds. 

yvette303

I did wonder about that but I cant recall if I even used a soap and if I did I rinsed it really well.

I've got mixed seed in there but I was thinking of seeing if I could tempt them back with sunflower seeds as they do love them best.

I tried fat balls but the squirels finished them off in a day *sigh*

Maybe another full rinse out and some sunflower seeds will do the trick. What pampered birds!

try sunflower hearts, in my experience if they don't bring them back nothing will, at one stage I had two feeders one with a mix and one with sunflower hearts and they would leave the mix alone and fight for the hearts must be the bird equivalent to chocolate  

BobTheGardener

Hi Yvette,  Keep an eye on the tops of the tallest trees/buildings around your garden.  Exactly the same recently happened to me and I discovered it was because a Sparrowhawk had moved in!  I still get birds, but they are now extremely skittish and tend to feed on the ground under shrubs and avoid the hanging feeders.  I'm going to move one of the feeders to a position out of the line of sight of where the hawk often perches to see if it helps.  The sparrow population in my garden this year had only just recovered to what it used to be, too.  Oh well, that's nature for you - "red in tooth and claw" as the saying goes.  At least the cats aren't bothering them at the moment, with all this wet weather!

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yvette303

Right sunflower hearts it is then and when they head back I'll keep my fingers crossed they dont get picked off by a sparrowhawk!

Alan4711

iv just put bird feeders out and my first visitors would you believe 2 small rats just cant win  back to the drawing board,maybe a metal pole will do it

Alan

flowering rose

I find this every winter they abandon the feeders,why?

Oakley Witch
I was going to say the same as santaslittlehelper. Sounds like a sparrow hawk. Try putting up a large owl ornament thing. That my stop them???
yvette303

I'm a suburban gardener....do you get Sparrowhawks in Middlesex?

Oakley Witch
Yep. You do im afraid. They have wiped out all the birds in my dads garden. Hes in a suburban area aswell.
Sam Glendinning wrote (see)
Yep. You do im afraid. They have wiped out all the birds in my dads garden. Hes in a suburban area aswell.

They wont have been 'wiped out; they will just be avoiding a trouble hotspot. Unfortunately it is disappointing when this happens in the place where you are keen to watch 'your' birds.......

flowering rose wrote (see)

just nipping out to get  a Owl......

Lol

Oakley Witch
Lol...smarty pants...you know what i meant. One of those big plastic statue owl things

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flowering rose

just discovered (after getting an Owl) that in fact I think its the Pigeons who are doing the scaring ,so moving bird hanger and contents to a more favorable area.

flowering rose

P.S, where can buy an Owl like that?like it.

An owl will likely have the same effect as the Sparrowhawk in terms of scaring.  You can by cages to put your feeders inside. The birds will get used to feeding inside them and the Sparrowhawk will not be able to pluck them off the feeders. You can also position canes around your feeders but it will not look so pretty.

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