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How to wake up to bird songs even if you don’t have a big balcony

Black-crested Texas titmouse at a bird feeder

Photo by Ross Bonander

Some of you might think that if you want to enjoy waking up to the songs of birds, you need to live out near the forest or have a large garden. But in fact, this doesn’t have to be the case! Yes, living out in the countryside may bring a higher variety of birds, but birds can actually be found anywhere. For people who live in an apartment or high rise, and don’t have a spacious balcony, attracting birds is still possible.

Black-crested Texas titmouse at a bird feeder
Photo by Ross Bonander

In general, birds are attracted to various things for a number of reasons. They like places where they can feel safe and know there is food. So, let’s find out how to encourage birds to visit your window or French balcony!

What are the benefits of welcoming birds to the outside of your apartment?

Attracting birds can seem like a difficult thing to do, but they can in fact help you in so many ways. It is very important to protect wildlife and the crucial role they play in our ecosystems. Help birds by attracting them to your home with good quality feeders and food and they will return the favour twice as much!

1. Pest control

If you want a natural way to control pests and insects on your French balcony or window shelf, look no more. Birds are a great option, as they eat a variety of insects like spiders, mosquitoes, aphids and many others. 

2. Weed control and pollination

 Inviting birds that sip nectar will naturally help with the process of pollination to help keep flowers beautiful and blooming. So, if your home is surrounded by a park or garden, consider you’ve just taken part in their pollination.

 3. Play a role in your local ecosystem

By creating a sanctuary and providing a source of nourishment for birds, you too play an important role in the care of the local ecosystem. At the same time, by inviting birds to your balcony or window shelves, you get the opportunity to observe and learn more about the local wildlife all year long.

Tip: It’s an excellent opportunity to spend some quality time with your children, by introducing them and studying the excitement of nature, the types of and movements of birds and their habits.

4. Improves the quality of life

Just by watching birds, listening to their songs in the morning or in the evening can give a person a sense of relief. Observing these winged beauties can promote well-being in a natural, medication-free way. Besides, the sounds and sight of birds might be the reason you open your windows or balcony doors more often. 

Tip: The sunlight you absorb whenever you are near the balcony or you open the windows to let some fresh air come in, is a great source of vitamin D and detoxifies the body through the fresh air you inhale. So, birding has many ways which are linked in some way or another to the improvement of your well-being.

two birds on a bird feeder
Photo by Rita

What is important to know before you install a feeder to your window or balcony?

It is of great importance to investigate whether there are any restrictions on feeding birds from the outside of your apartment. Buildings and condominium complexes might have various guidelines or regulations that prohibit feeders. Make sure you are well informed regarding the use of hooks, screws or other feeder equipment that can damage the walls or railings. However, throughout the article you shall learn that when you don’t want to drill holes, or the only option for a bird feeder is the window, the best and only option is to use suction cups.

Even though you enjoy feeding birds, ask yourself if it’s worth to risk fines or penalties if that violates the property’s guidelines. However, if you can use bird feeders, prepare to learn the most creative ways to attract them!

What are the top 2 feeders for a French style balcony or windows?

You have decided that you want to install a bird feeder to the window or balcony, but how do you know which one would work best for you? There are three main types of bird feeders that work for apartments, but each one of them has different pros and cons. Let’s find out which one suits your apartment the best:

1. Window Feeder (Suction Cup)

This type of bird feeder is great for windows at any level, which makes them perfect for attracting birds to any apartment. They are easy to install, as the only thing you need to do is stick them to a window with suction cups. This window feeder will allow you to enjoy the sight of birds feeding from a close distance. And don’t worry about them leaving if they notice a person on the other side of the window. In time, they will get used to it, as long as there are no sudden movements close to the window

However, be aware that there are a few disadvantages to using suction cups as bird feeders. The suckers might fail, and you should prepare to handle the falling debris and mess. Nevertheless, here are the best suction cup bird feeders for your apartment windows:

Natures Hangout Window Feeder

This feeder is made out of clear, durable plastic which gives you a full view of the birds. It has a removable seed tray that can be lifted for refilling or cleaning without having to remove the whole feeder from the window. The seed tray and the bottom of the main housing have holes for water drainage, so you won’t need to be worried about rain or snow overflowing the tray.

Nature_Decor Large Acrylic Clear Window Bird Feeder with Removable Seed Tray
Clear window bird feeder
View on Amazon

Natures Market Window Bird Fat Ball Feeder

These mini feeders attach to the window by suction cups as well. Suet cakes (or fat balls) are blocks of fat that include nuts, fruits, seeds, mealworms and an array of bird friendly foods. Woodpeckers adore suet, but many other birds will enjoy this high treat too. It works very easily, as you only have to load the fat balls through one side. It’s super practical!

Natures Market Window Bird Fat Ball Feeder
Natures Market Window Bird Fat Ball Feeder
View on Amazon

Maggift Window Hummingbird Feeder

 Many consider hummingbirds as one of the most amazing birds to watch and feed. The brightly coloured top of this feeder will attract the hummers very easily. It has three feeding ports they can choose from and a perch bar if they need to rest.

Maggift Window Hummingbird Feeder
Maggift Window Hummingbird Feeder
View on Amazon

2. Balcony Rail Feeders

One can install this type of feeder if they have a balcony with a horizontal rail, which most balconies have in order to be safe. There is a mechanism under this type of feeder which secure it tightly against the balcony rain, holding the feeder in place. Make sure you purchase a feeder that comes with a security cable which would prevent it from falling if the clamp fails. Its main advantage is that it will invite small, more welcome bird breeds who can access the feeder more easily. The main disadvantage of this feeder, though, is that the droppings and debris from the feeder will fall to the surface below, and your neighbors might not be very happy about it.

Emsa Landhaus railing clip for bird feeders
Emsa Landhaus railing clip for bird feeders
View on Amazon

Inviting birds to your feeder has never been easier with these few simple tips!

Putting up your window feeder is only a milestone to your final goal – attracting birds. Therefore, you might want to focus on two important things that invite birds successfully-adding some greenery, food and water. Now, lacking a big yard doesn’t have to mean that you can’t get creative, so here we gathered a list of few things that you should do if you want to increase the chances of inviting your new little friends to your apartment.

1. Vertical gardening: If you have no room to spread out, you should try going up, if possible.

2. Potted plants: if you have a deck, consider adding a few potted plants, as it will make the area more colourful and lush.

3. Birdbaths: according to the space you have, you can get really creative with these, as birds love them. You can even add a birdbath to your window ledge, but make sure you attach it safely.

Achla Designs Dara Bracket Railing Mount Birdbath
Achla Designs Bracket Railing Mount Birdbath
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And last but not least, learn how to keep things clean once you attract birds

1.    Using a no-mess bird seed mix will ensure minimum wastage, and leave you with only the droppings to clean.

Peckish Complete Seed and Nut No Mess Wild Bird Food Mix
Peckish Complete Seed and Nut No Mess Wild Bird Food Mix
View on Amazon

2.    Invest in a stiff brush in order to dislodge any hard debris before disposing of it. Of course, you should be careful in preventing anything from falling on your neighbour below.

3.    Try to avoid cleaning bird feeders in your apartment. Even though it might be more difficult since the space is limited, bird feeders can contain bacteria that we people shouldn’t be in contact with. However, if you must do it indoors, use the kitchen and then thoroughly clean the area once you are done.

Ready to wake up to the sounds of birds singing at your windows?

Now that you are aware that you don’t need a picturesque landscape, a productive garden or a big yard to enjoy feeding birds, wait no more! There are many benefits that attracting birds to your apartment can bring, so with a little bit of creativity you can enjoy  the sight of these little creatures on a daily basis. The key is to make your window or balcony a desirable feeding station for these hungry feathered visitors. 

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