The first priority when choosing where to place a bird feeder should be security. We want to attract birds to our feeders but not put them in danger.
Quoting The Cornell Lab of Ornithology “window glass kills at least 100 million birds, and possibly a billion birds every year in the United States”. Window strikes are one of the leading causes of admissions to Le Nichoir every year. Take time to assess the dangers before placing a feeder.
Use the tool on the Cornell Lab Citizen Science Blog to determine the danger zones around your house. Enter you address, click on your house and the tool will show you the danger zones. It’s a very cool tool!
In short, locate feeders closer than 1 meter (on the window or the frame is fine) or over 10 meters from glass. The close distance reduces severity of collisions and the larger distance reduces the likelihood of birds confusing the window reflections on their way to and from the feeders.
Adding window decals is an additional measure you can take to reduce window collisions. We have tried and recommend the Window Alert decals.
Once the issue of window safety is addressed, look for locations that provide perching places nearby. Perching places allow birds to take quick refuge from predators and gives them the opportunity to survey the area for predators before coming in to feed.
A few other points to keep in mind:
- Keep the feeder 3 meters or so from jumping off points to reduce access by acrobatic squirrels.
- A low traffic, quiet spot will attract more birds
- Don’t forget you will need regular access to the feeder
- Place hummingbird feeders out of the wind
- Place the feeder so you can enjoy watching the birds!