I recently have started trying to attract birds for photography but I can’t find anything that attracts birds. I have tried kiwifruit and apple some of it got eaten but most of it got ignored. I set up some sugar water for them but no birds were interested. I was wondering what the best way to attract birds through food would be.
Try sunflower seeds. Sugar water is good for hummingbirds, but only in a feeder meant for them. And don’t include red dye, it’s toxic to them.
Is there a reason you’re using fruit, specifically? Are you looking for fruit-eating birds?
Catbirds, Robins, and Northern Cardinals love blueberries–especially straight from the bush. Grapes seem to go quick too when I put them out.
Blackbirds like apples. Berry bushes atrack birds and I agree so much to sunflower seeds.
But it is much discussed, if it is good or not to feed birds in summer. Some bird friends do and some don’t.
I don’t do it, but there are different opinions on that.
I’ve seen hummingbirds drink from the juice in watermelon rinds. Our blueberry bush also got stripped this year before we humans could get at them, so I guess they’re popular with birds wherever you are
You’re from Aotearoa NZ yeah? Since we’ve got so many frugivores and nectar-eaters, it might be best to leave up the sugar water feeder, maybe just taking some time for them to get used to it. Alternatively, if you used a hummingbird feeder instructions, that might be putting them off as well. A hamster water bottle or a bowl setup like in the link below works better. That should bring in tūī and korimako-bellbird.
Oranges also do great, especially for tauhou-silvereye.
For kererū some thawed veg like corn and peas, but has to be on a large, open platform like a birdbath or a large hanging platform. They prefer up high, and have to be cautious your feeder is sturdy so they don’t knock it clean over. Best thing for them however is just to have plenty of trees full of native fruits to draw them in.
Seed feeders can help bring birds in, but it’ll mostly be the introduced species.
Can see the setup that drives the tūī on Tiritiri Matangi mad in this video at around 0:52. Similar to an american hummingbird feeder but with much larger holes, and often oranges and other fruits like pears and kiwifruit on the nails around it.
Since they drive off all the korimako and other small birds, a bowl feeder (similar to this but with a large bucket rather than wine bottle https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/55367652) is set up in a cage with a smaller entrance for the hihi and korimako. Both types get absolutely mobbed the second they’re refilled in the morning (but obviously in a place with much more dense bird populations), so they definitely work if the birds see them
I don’t know if Sunflowers are native to where you live. However, they attract finches along with tons of bees and butterflies. Not to mention they give that joyful Jack-in-the-beanstalk feeling as you watch them grow taller and taller.
BTW Another thing that can attract birds is a “water feature” such as a bird bath. You can put a small solar circulator in it to make some splashing that can attract birds, or they can just notice it eventually. A relative is not a photographer but has one near her window- it became a place to watch not just the bathing birds splashing, but for her local Cooper’s Hawk to swoop in for a meal!
I used to have a small fishpond with a little waterfall feature that was under a tree. Little songbirds like sparrows and finches adored it. And, occasionally an egret and Cooper’s hawk snagged a fish or little bird. Raccoons discovered it, too.
Now, I just have a birdbath with a solar water jiggler. Birds visit it, but not profusely, like the little waterfall. The birds visited it more after I moved it out of the open and into a shady area under shrubs.
Unshelled peanuts. Put them out in the morning and give the birds a chance to find them. My guys go crazy!