So, you set out a new feeder and the birds are not eating from it? This is normal. After installing a new feeder it can take a day or a number of weeks before the birds will readily take to it; even if it replaces an existing feeder.
Remember the Rule of 2's: It can take birds 2 seconds, 2 minutes, 2 hours, 2 days, 2 weeks, or 2 months to find the new food!
Here are a few things to consider:
Patience is key when birds are getting used to a new feeder.
Birds generally find their food by sight. Placing your feeder where it will be visible to them should decrease the time it takes for birds to start feeding.
Sometimes sprinkling some food on the ground or on top of the feeder will let the birds know that you are open for business.
It is important that you use a food based on the birds in your area and for the type of feeder. Blends with a lot of millet are great for hopper feeders; but, not for tube feeders. Seed blends high in sunflower and peanuts do best in tube feeders.
Birds often have a preference with their food as well as perching options. The jays, grosbeaks, towhees and cardinals prefer a platform on which to land and feed. This can be accomplished by adding a tray to a tube feeder.
Place the feeder near cover. Birds are often most comfortable when there is cover about 5-10 feet away. They can hide to make sure the coast is clear or duck quickly into the cover if a predator arrives.
Remember to keep your feeders clean and change the food at least once per month if the birds have not begun eating.
In order to not waste seed until the birds start using the feeder, consider placing only enough food to fill the feeder to the first level of feeding ports. Once the birds find it and are eating regularly, you can fill it up completely.