Portuguese birds don’t like my bird feeder

We’ve had a bag of bird feed lying around since we tried (and failed) to poison the pigeons. I figured that the right thing to do would be to distribute the *unpoisoned* bird feed around the garden in bird feeders for the birds that visit the garden.

In one of my previous posts I listed all the birds that I’ve seen in the garden, here it is again: sparrows, house martins, swallows, blue jays, robins, great and blue tits, green finches, chaffinches, wrens, and a couple of black redstarts nesting in the well. We’ve also got a hoopoe that sits on a telegraph pole outside that we’d like to encourage in as well and a scops owl that spends time in the garden at night (keeping us all awake). Sometimes a red kite or two flies over but they’re more interested in the pigeons than our garden.

So I set about making a bird feeder from a finished lemonade bottle. I was going to take stage-by-stage photos but it wasn’t all that complicated in the end and it took about 5 minutes. I cut the bottle in half with some scissors, made two bird-sized holes on both sides, stuck a bamboo stick through it, fixed a bit of wire to hang it on a branch, added some bird feed, sellotaped it all together and then hung it on a branch. Done!


The bird feeder was attached to one of the branches on the orange tree, where a lot of birds frequent in the morning and evening. It all looked very promising, EXCEPT, not a single grain has been touched after a week! These birds don’t seem to know what my bird feeder is all about! I have several theories for this:

1) The green plastic camouflages it against the tree leaves, which means that the birds simply cannot see it.

2) The holes I made for the birds are too small that it might potentially decapitate one of the birds – if I were a bird then I would steer well clear of this contraption.

3) The worms and little bugs are in abundance as it’s Spring, so why bother eating seed?

4) Portuguese birds aren’t used to seeing bird feeders (particularly ones of the green variety).

I believe that the answer is a combination of all four of my theories, but mainly because it is Spring and the birds fancy juicy things over seeds. I can only hope that by the Winter the birds have worked it out and appreciate my efforts :)

About Laura

About Laura

Laura Bailey is the owner of My Home in Portugal and has been blogging since 2013.

View All Posts
About Laura

About Laura

Laura Bailey is the owner of My Home in Portugal and has been blogging since 2013.

View All Posts
Related Posts



3 Responses

  1. That bird feeding system I don't think very eating friendly for birds and that's why they are not much interested to eat from there. I think instead of using that green bottle, try some open space type, give food to a wide tray and bird will come with more interest.

    1. You're exactly right, I'm going to construct something a bit more bird-friendly this year. There are plenty of bugs for the birds to eat all year in Portugal but I think a bird feeder is a lovely feature for every garden. Thank you for your comment :)

  2. Here near Caldas da rainha I see no blue tits. I put a bird feeder up no interest so spread thinly on patio. have had very friendly robin who comes inside the house and perches on curtain rail. Black redstart blackbird sparrows starling and far too many doves collared who dont come down to feed in my boring patch of grass (rented so cannot change)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Don't miss out

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive our latest blog posts and tips about living in Portugal!