Does it seem like you’re doing everything you usually do to attract feathered friends to your feeder but with less successful results this time of year?

If so, there may be several reasons for that decline in numbers. Here are some of the most likely.

Mother Nature is providing alternate food sources. Birds normally dependent on the meals you provide may be turning instead to natural bounty such as insects and ripe grains, berries, and fruits. “Migrating birds may find a better place to get their nutrition, and it has nothing to do with you,” notes Roxanna Coldiron on “Natural food sources for the birds is actually a good thing for the ecosystem.”

Their dietary needs are changing with the seasons. Birds sometimes need different nutrients at different times of the year; they may seek different foods for physiological reasons.

Your seed needs replacing. In certain wet or humid conditions, your seed may become rancid, in which case you may need to clean and refill your feeders. In general, hand washing feeders with dish soap and hot water is recommended about every two weeks.

Your neighborhood birds are transient. The species in your neighborhood may have shifted due to weather patterns, environmental changes, migration, or other factors, and newcomers may simply prefer different menu items. You may wish to try a new seed mix and see what happens.  

Local birds are encountering local predators. Since even assertive squirrels can scare birds away, you may wish to install fencing or pole-and-baffle systems, or perhaps just move feeders away from area shrubbery. Your goal should be to provide a balance of natural cover and open space that allows the birds to fly freely in and out.  

Optimize your chances of attracting late-summer birds by choosing Lyric Bird Food’s Fine Tunes No Waste Mix for your feeders. The versatile blend offers a high-nutrition mix of seeds, nuts, sunflower kernels, and cracked corn to attract a wide variety of beautiful songbirds.