Excerpted from "Feeder Facts” in "Popular Birding Series: Backyard Birding,” published by I-5 Publishing, LLC and edited by Melissa Kauffman.
Place your bird feeder in an area where a visiting bird won't be frightened off by a person or predator walks by.
Before placing your wild bird feeder in your backyard, keep in mind these four points: Visibility, brightness, protection and convenience.
Visibility: Do you want to watch the wild birds from your house window? Do you want your pet bird to see the wild birds from its window? If so, then you want to place it close enough to the house that you both can observe the wild birds, but not close enough that the larger wild birds will spook your parrot. Or, if there are unwanted pests or scavengers visiting the bird food at your wild bird feeder, you don’t want the feeder close enough to the house that it frightens your pet bird — a prey animal — as it gazes out the window.
Brightness: The brighter the area, the better you’ll be able to see your visiting birds. Find a place that gets sunshine during the day.
Protection: Place your wild bird feeder near shrubs or trees, where songbirds can scatter to if a predator approaches while they are eating. Check the area for spots where a sneaky cat could hide or thriving squirrels can leap. (Squirrels can jump nearly 10 feet from a low-lying branch or fence.) Place your wild bird feeder in a spot that protects the wild birds from cold winter winds.
Convenience: Don’t place the bird feeder in an area that is too difficult for you to reach. You need it to be accessible so you can refill it and clean it. Don’t place it so high you need a ladder to reach it. Also, if the wild bird feeder isn’t visible and easily accessible, you are less likely to refill it when it needs it.
Where you place your wild bird feeder can also determine its popularity with the back yard wild birds. If your bird feeder doesn’t get much attention, try moving it to a different spot.