How to Attract Birds to a Window Feeder Using 5 Easy Steps


Written by

Clinton Atkins



George Dukes

how to attract birds to a window feeder

So you’ve just bought an in window bird feeder, but you’re having trouble getting our avian companions to visit them. Most bird watchers or amateur enthusiasts get frustrated when these creatures aren’t immediately paying attention to their windows, but it’s quite simple.

All you need is the right placement, feed, and some vibrant flora. In this guide, we talk more about how to attract birds to a window feeder and a few key tips that can help attract a flock of lovely songbirds to your home.

How to Get Birds to Come to Your Feeder


Step 1: Choose a suitable Window Sill Bird Feeder

The first step to attract birds to a window feeder is to have the right equipment. There are two types of window feeders:

  • Window sill (or solarium) feeder

As the name suggests, a window sill bird feeder is a feeder stored on top of a windowsill. This small ledge or shelf occupies the bottom part of traditional and classic windows.

Window sill or solarium bird feeders are typically located on the outer sill. Still, owners will sometimes modify the window to accommodate the structure (i.e., creating a mounted window sill feeder). The latter may be more common in modern homes.

  • The suction cup feeder

Suction cup window feeders, on the other hand, are the more popular of the two. The design is simple and usually features two sturdy suction cups that attach the main feed container outside the window.

That being said, choose the one that fits your budget and requirements. Don’t want to spend more on making additional upgrades, like a window sill or a small shelf? It’s best to go with a suction-cup feeder.

Want a more classic design for a homier and more rustic feel? Spending a little more to build a window sill feeder won’t hurt.

Step 2: Buy The Right Type Of Bird Seeds Or Feed

Buying all-natural seeds containing little-to-no fillers is a surefire way to finally get birds to flock to your window. Different bird species are attracted to various seeds, but most have an appetite for sunflower seeds.

Sunflower bird seeds come in two forms: black oil and striped.

  • Black oil sunflower seeds not only have easier and thinner shells for birds to crack into — they also contain higher levels of nutrition due to the high oil content.
  • With black sunflower seeds, you can attract varieties of birds such as sparrows, redpolls, woodpeckers, and many others.
  • The striped version sports a harder shell casing compared to black sunflower seeds. It is exactly the same type of seed found in packaging and consumed by us, making them more expensive than black oil sunflower seeds.
  • Many types of birds also feast on hard-shelled striped sunflower seeds, such as woodpeckers, grackles, nutcrackers, as well as most birds attracted to the black variety.

Step 3: Properly Clean The Feeder

Having a bird feeder outside window means you’re also responsible for keeping it neat and clean for the flying fauna. A heavily-soiled and mold-infested bird feeder isn’t only unsightly to look at but may also make animals sick once the feed is ingested.

For those with suction cup-type feeders, cleaning them is simple enough — much like how you would a ceramic dish. You’ll need to:

  • Detach the entire feeder from the window
  • Discard any unused feed, then gently rinse it under running water.
  • Using a soft sponge or non-abrasive towel, apply copious amounts of dishwashing liquid (for dirty bird feeds).
  • Continuously wipe on soiled areas. Let the feeder foam, then rewash it before drying with a towel.

For solarium feeders, you have to:

  • Dismount and disassemble the entire structure.
  • If there are small attachments, wash them separately from the main feeder so that they don’t get misplaced.
  • Clean a windowsill bird feeder as you would, a suction-cup feeder.

Aside from the feeder itself, be mindful of the surroundings’ cleanliness. Some birds may inadvertently spill hulls, uneaten oats, grains, and other waste products below the feeder. These could earn the attention of uninvited guests such as ants, mice, rodents, and other creatures. Left unkempt, you can expect fewer visits from almost all birds.

Related post: The best way to clean bird feeders.

Step 4: Allow Enough Sunlight To Enter The Space

Like all living creatures, wild birds need sunlight to thrive. You may be thinking that making sure your window areas are abundant in natural lighting isn’t difficult. However, some spaces may be crowded with overgrown foliage, unnecessary clutter, and other towering structures that may block light flow near the target window area.

It doesn’t mean that you have to cut down all trees and trim all bushes or flowering plants near the bird feeder attached to window.

Just make sure that there are enough openings for sunlight to enter and hit the spot around it to get birds to come to your bird feeder.

If you’re planning to install a bird feeder on a window in close proximity to bush growth or trees, make sure to trim them now and again.

Practice proper pruning and shaping so that the plants can still grow healthily while leaving room for sunlight to pierce through.

Step 5: Leave Out Space In The Window Area

Apart from untrimmed bushes, practice proper yard work and maintenance. Any objects that could obstruct sunlight entry (such as exercising equipment or unused construction materials) should be stored elsewhere.

Pay close attention to spiked objects or structures with protrusions, as these may appear predatory to the birds. Remove them if any of these are attached to ledges, roof areas, or gutters.

You could cover them with a thick, soft material to offer a safer landing spot for the birds.

Step 6: Grow Vibrant Plants

Cultivate an environment around the bird feeder on window in such a way that it appears home-like and natural to the birds.

These creatures are attracted to vibrant colors and flowering plants, much like what’s found in their everyday habitat. Complement the bird feeder structure with colorful and bird-friendly plants that will put the entire structure in the spotlight.

You’ll want to grow your plants near the area where you’ll set up the bird feeder. Note that the birds might be more attracted to fruit-bearing plants, so be picky about which to grow.

Some bird-friendly plant choices include sunflowers, daisies, marigolds, hydrangeas, and the like. While growing them in an actual garden may still help attract birds to the feeder, try growing some of these plants in pots and place them on or near the window.

If you set up an apartment window bird feeder, planting some flowers can also really light up the place.


Attaching a bird feeder to your window is just half the battle done when it comes to attracting these creatures and observing them from up close. Unsure of how to attract birds to a window feeder? Listed in this comprehensive guide are just some of the materials and practices you can do to fare better with your mounted bird feeder.

Hopefully, you get the feeder and its surroundings ready to attract beautiful birds to visit. Thanks for reading!

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