Birds are usually frightened of humans. Therefore, wherever there are humans, you will seldom find birds frequenting the spot. For instance, you will never find birds flying inside a company office where there are thousands of humans moving around. You will only find birds in forests near a water source, which humans do not often visit.
However, Stefan Sobkowiak, also known as the Bird Whisperer, recently demonstrated how to encourage birds to come to you and eat from your hands. In his demonstration, he gives a few steps that can help anybody encourage birds to feed from their hands. The first step that Stefan talks about is feeding the birds. He says to feed them by setting up feeders and stocking these feeders with their favorite foods.
He gives the example of black-capped chickadees that are common in his area. These birds love to eat black oil, sunflower seeds, and suet. Thus, Stefan prefers to store the feeders with both seeds and suet. This encourages the birds to return again and again. Next, Stefan talks about the second step: letting the birds get used to your presence.
He elaborates by saying that birds should get used to you being near their feeder whenever they come to eat from it. He says this is a critical step and many think standing with bird seeds in their outstretched hands will suffice. However, although this will work in some cases, it will only work if the birds are used to your presence.
Stefan says you may start by being 20 or 30 feet away from their feeder. If you see them coming to the feeder while you stand at a distance, that is a significant first step. Gradually, you need to move closer to the feeder. You will understand how close you can get to the feeder by the behavior of the birds. For example, if you stand 6 feet away from the feeder and the birds do not visit the feeder, you need to move further away. This is a long step and demands patience. Once you stand at arm’s length from the feeder and the birds still come to eat, you have succeeded.
The third step is encouraging the birds to feed from your hands. First, you must put some seeds in your hands and hold them near the feeder. Then, the birds should come to you and eat from your hands. He also gives a trick at the same time. He says to keep the feeder empty so birds get attracted by the seeds in your hands quickly. At the same time, he whistles at the birds and moves his thumb repeatedly to attract them.
Stefan also suggests holding your hands near some tree branches. This will encourage them to perch somewhere before they come to feed from your hands. The birds perch on a tree branch and reach out to your hand to eat the feeds. This helps them overcome any hesitation they may have. He warns them not to make sudden movements because that might frighten them.