Birds are attractive in any outdoor space. Seeing their magnificent colors and listening to their harmonious melodies around a feeder on your balcony is one of the best ways to take in the beauty of nature.
To hang a bird feeder on your balcony, you need to first take a look at the type of birds that are common in the area. This will help you pick the right bird feeder to use. With the right type secured, you only need a good railing clamp or bird feeder hook to complete the installation.
The rest of the article will provide you with 9 simple tips for mounting your bird feeder correctly. Watch out for tips on how to attract more birds.
Pay Attention to the Bird Species Around Your Property
Do you see many bird species flying around your house, or are there just pigeons and doves? Do you have gardens or vegetation nearby? If you are living in a high rise apartment in the middle of a busy urban area with little to no vegetation outside of the local park, it’s unlikely that you’ll attract birds to your balcony feeder.
If you see and hear lots of different bird noises around you, however, a bird feeder in the balcony will most likely be a success in terms of attracting many species.
Choose the Best Bird Feeder
There are three main types of bird feeders you can choose from for your balcony. We’ll take a look at each of them with their pros and cons.
Balcony Rail Feeder
This is the type you should choose if your balcony has horizontal rails like most balconies. It comes with a clamp mechanism under which is used to hold the feeder securely against the balcony rail. The Wosibo Deck Bird Feeder is a good example.
Some balcony rail feeders come with a security cable that ensures the feeder can’t fall from falling to the ground (and hitting someone probably) if the clamp fails to hold the feeder in place.
- It can be used on any horizontal rail.
- You can just hang it from the railing instead of clamping it on.
- It is best for attracting smaller birds.
- It can easily get dislodged by high winds.
- Bird droppings and debris will fall below, annoying neighbors or just making the street below dirty.
Window Feeder (With Suction Cups)
This type of bird feeder comes with suction cups that are used to stick it to a window on the balcony. This way, you can get a closer look at the birds instead of staying far off. It works best with coated windows where the birds can’t see you on the inside, but you can see them. Df Omer and Nature’s Hangout are two brands you can choose from when buying these.
- You get to enjoy a close view of the birds.
- Taking photos will be easier as there’s no need for optical devices.
- There are many varieties to choose from.
- It will stop birds from flying into windows.
- The suction cups can fail with time breaking the feeder.
- Having one of these limits how far you can open the window.
- Falling debris and bird droppings are still a problem.
It’s easy to see why mesh tray feeders are a favorite for many bird-watchers. They are not likely to fall and damage anything or wound someone, and they can be easily removed for cleaning and refreshing. They are arguably the most durable, no-frills bird feeders you can get for your balcony.
- You don’t have to worry about fallen-feeder damage.
- It can be easily removed for maintenance.
- They are usually the cheapest bird feeders.
- You’ll have to watch the birds from a distance.
- The nature and size of these feeders mean that they can attract pigeons and other such birds.
- There’ll be a lot of wastage and mess.
These are the main types of bird feeders you’ll find for your balcony. However, some manufacturers provide feeders that are a mix of these. Examples include the Perky-Pet Red Cardinal Bird Feeder and Rotot Archway Bird Feeder. The premise is the same at the end of the day. Look for an option that fits your specific balcony-situation.
Hang Them Properly
The first thing you need to do is to ensure that the feeders are tightly fitted. Check the clamps, cables, and hooks, especially for heavier feeders that can cause more damage than just wasted bird food if they fall.
If you are mounting multiple feeders, space them appropriately. Also, don’t forget to keep the feeder above the ground. Squirrels may not be able to reach the feeders depending on how far off the ground your balcony might be, but other rodents like rats and reptiles like lizards may find it easy to reach bird feeders left on the floor.
A southeastern position for the feeders is the best as birds prefer to feed in the sun and away from the wind. They also prefer to have a proper view of the feeding area so they can see predators quickly.
Keep Distance Between the Feeder and the Windows
Window collisions kill almost a billion birds across the US every year. You can help prevent this by hanging your bird feeders (especially the tray options) a safe distance away from windows. This is especially true for picture windows where the birds can misread the shadow of the feeder from afar.
Ideally, the feeder should be either three or ten feet away from the window. This is why window feeders are good. On the other hand, if you have other types of feeders, hang them far away enough to give birds enough room for maneuver.
Keep the Feeder Far Away From Chemicals
Do you use pesticides for your balcony plants? You should take care to keep the seeds in the bird feeder uncontaminated. As more birds flock to the feeder, you’ll most likely no longer need the pesticides anymore as birds will feed on insects and keep your plants healthy.
Start Small With the Bird Food
There’s no need for emptying the bag on your first day after hanging feeders. You need to start as small as possible, slowly increasing the rations as the birds start coming. Pouring out too much can lead to wastage.
Use Plants and Bird Songs to Attract More Birds
Once you’ve waited a few days and no birds have started arriving, you can introduce more colorful plants to your balcony to attract some pollen lovers. You can also play bird songs or sounds every morning or evening to give the impression that there are birds on your balcony. However, you have to play the sounds of bird species in the area for this trick to work.
Keeping the bird feeder full is a great way to keep the birds coming back when they do start coming. This is because birds love a convenient food source. You should place your feeder in a location where you can easily reach out and refill it. If you have to use a ladder or a stool, you’ll likely keep forgetting or postponing the refill.
Clean the Environment Often
Birds can become ill if the feeder is dirty and has moldy seed or droppings. This is why you need to clean the environment as regularly as possible. Use seed trays to capture droppings and other wastes from the birds’ feedings. This will make it easier for you to just focus on cleaning the actual feeder.
Hanging a bird feeder on a balcony ultimately comes down to choosing the right bird feeder for the bed species you are looking to attract and the peculiarities of your balcony. Window feeders with suction cups may not work for everyone, while some balconies may not have room for hanging feeders.
Once you’ve picked a feeder, hang it properly, refill it regularly and keep it clean to keep the birds coming back and healthy.