Do you have bird feeders but no birds? This is a great guest post by John Harris that can give you some insight on why and how to fix.
Preferred feeding style
Not all bird varieties like to use the same style of feeding. For example, you will never see a blackbird hanging from a bird feeder in the same way you will a blue tit. They much prefer to do their feeding off the ground. In fact, most songbirds like to be at ground level when eating. Smaller and more brightly coloured birds, such as finches and the already mentioned tits, are more nimble and lighter, meaning they can hang without any problems. So make sure that you position your wild bird food accordingly, dependant on the kinds of birds you are looking to attract. If you are keen to listen to the songbirds, whilst watching the pretty smaller birds; consider placing some food on bird tables and the floor in addition to utilising hanging feeders.
We humans are lucky in that we don’t have to worry about our own safety whilst we are tucking into our meals. The exact opposite is true for birds; who are never more vulnerable than when feeding. To help keep them as safe from predators as possible you should position their food carefully. Hanging bird feeders must be placed as far away as possible from walls and flat roofs - which are of course great places for cats to lie in wait. Ideally there will also be a hedge or some other form of vegetation near to the feeder, providing a place for the birds to retreat should a predator show its face. When positioning food on the floor for ground feeders, be sure to place it out in the open. This allows the birds a clear view of their surroundings on all sides and reduces the likelihood of a predator catching them unawares.
During cold weather
When the temperature drops many insects die off; this leads to a shortage of food for birds. As such you may find an increase of bird traffic in your garden as they search out alternative food sources. However, it may be that even though the birds are present in your garden, they still aren’t using the feeders or eating the wild bird food that you have scattered on the ground. In both instances this may be because the food is positioned in an area where the wind is quite strong. If possible try to place the food in an area of the garden that is better protected from the wind. It is also a good idea to put the food that you place on the floor on feeding trays, so you can bring it in on an evening and prevent it from freezing.