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Bird Feeders (1 Viewer)

Hi there, this is my first post so hope I'm in the right place.
I hang all my bird furniture on a large mature Escallonia bush in my back garden and it's usually alive with birds most of the time. Generally the common garden visitors.
However the bush was getting quite large so I had to get it cut back a bit.
I've now hung out some brand new feeders (Nuts, seeds/mealworms/fat balls/niger seeds) and the numbers of visitors has drastically reduced. In fact I'm wondering where they've all gone. I have a bird table down the end of the garden with nuts and seeds and that seems to get a lot more visitors.
Is it the changed shrub, the new feeders or something else that's causing the sudden lack of birds and if so will they all come back in time?

delia todd

If I said the wrong thing it was a Senior Moment
Staff member
Opus Editor
Hi again Jack.

You know I sometimes wonder about birds and what gets into them. I can understand the autumn when there's so much food available in the wider countryside.

I guess it must be just the change of set up and it could well take time for them to adjust to it. Give it a month and if nothing has improved, see what changes you can make, bearing in mind that by then it'll be closer to spring and they'll be thinking of breeding. Feed requirements do seem to change a bit then.... mealworms are a favourite here at that time.


Old Berkshire Boy
Delia has covered why the regular visitors have moved on....change. I think a degree of shelter, safety and security too from any likely predators that the mature shrub would have afforded. Give them time and they will eventually return. Perhaps reduce the amount and frequency of the food on the bird table so they have to forage elsewhere.
Good luck.

Deb Burhinus

Used to be well known! 😎
Hello Jack - Welcome to Birdforum ! 🙂

I think the bad weather in the past few days might be partly to blame at least where I am - my garden birds dropped substantially in the past few days while locally temperatures dropped and we had very high winds so I am assuming they moved a short distance into the forest for shelter. We also have Sparrowhawks around (and cats ) which aren’t always obvious - that too could make bird visits suddenly drop. I always to a ’cat sweep’ of the garden if the feeders are completely empty for any period. The neighbours also have had a tarpaulin wrapped around their chimney the past few days, flapping in the wind. Today it is gone and the birds are back. But it is also sunny!

Pruning the bush might if had a small impact - just the slight change of habitat can break the momentum of visits but it could just as easily be a predator lurking or a change in the weather.

KC Foggin

Super Moderator
Staff member
Opus Editor
United States
Hi ya Jack!

Birds love secure feeding areas and when you change what they have become used to it will result in some changes in population as previously stated. Please remember when you do any trimming, never do it during the nesting season.

Fingers crossed that they all become comfortable again soon and return to your birding sanctuary ;)


Well-known member
I used to have two large white lilacs in the garden, similar size and age. My feeders were about halfway in between them. The one lilac had been invade by false azalea and the whole plant looked pretty untidy so my wife persuaded me to cut it down. My bird population dropped like a rock. We no longer get the various species of sparrow that were so numerous. We lost our Hairy Woodpecker and our Red-breasted Nuthatch. No more redpolls or siskins. That was about 10 years ago and they haven't returned.


Picture Picker
Welcome to Birdforum!

You have changed what the birds are used to and that will have made them discombobulated. It will be the changed shrub and the new feeders. However, you say birds are visiting your bird table so it seems they are still comfortable coming to your garden. I'd not worry too much. Give them time to get used to the changes. I've noticed it can take a few days to a few weeks for birds to get used to a new feeder. Are your new feeders near to bushes/shrubs or some kind of shelter as birds like to have somewhere close to fly to if they feel threatened.

KC Foggin

Super Moderator
Staff member
Opus Editor
United States
Please, if you don't mind, keep us updated on your bird population around your garden.

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