HomeBackyard Bird SanctuaryWhere Did All The Birds Go?

You anxiously look out the window to see which beautiful bird has come to visit you at the feeder today…. and no one is there. Perhaps you think it is just an off day….

But the next day, and the next, the birds are simply not showing up.

Where did all the birds go?

This happened to us recently…. all of the birds disappeared. We saw a few in the trees and some would stand atop the feeder but soon fly away.

We did all of the “checks”:

Water? Yes – Clean and Fresh

Food? Yes – Plenty of Black Oil Sunflower Seeds and Nyjer

Problem? ANTS! The ants had taken over the pole that was holding the bird feeders. There were NO ants in the birdseed, but they were happily crawling up and down the pole.


There are a ton of postings about how to keep ants from hummingbird feeders, but none about how to keep ants OFF regular metal feeding poles. We took all of the feeders down and sprayed the ants. We cleaned the ant debris and rehung the bird feeders.

…. and the birds didn’t return. We tried to use a natural ant killer, but whatever was in the ant spray – the birds did NOT like!

After a thorough washing and drying of all bird feeders and throwing away all of the seed, and refilling the feeders, we just knew our precious birds would return. But they didn’t.

After much research, we determined that after such a trauma, it would take some time for the birds to trust us again.

Three weeks later, a female cardinal tentatively approached the feeder and ate. The next day, we saw 3 birds. Now our sanctuary is full of our beautiful babies happily enjoying their favorite seed.

Learn From Us:

1. Treat the mound of ants in the yard… not the pole

2. Remove the feeders and seed/suet from the poles and spray poles with Windex. WIPE CLEAN and rinse well with water.

3. Rehang feeders and seed/suet after the pole is completely dry.

Note: a persistent ant problem may cause you to relocate the feeder stations

Hope this helps if ants overrun your feeder stations!

Feel free to share your comments or your solutions below 😉

Happy Birding,

Lori & Ginger


Where Did All The Birds Go? — 2 Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing your experience. I am just about to buy a feeder to attract the birds to my backyard. I love the information on your site. I love birds! Great job!

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