When I moved to my new room I hung a bird feeder outside my sliding door to the courtyard. It was a type that had attracted dozens of finches when I was living in Hesperia, CA. But here in Merced, not one bird has come near it. Why?
I put some in an elevated bird bath. No takers.
So I spread wild bird seed on the bare ground and a few LBJ (Little Brown Jobs, chickadees, I am told) came and pecked cautiously at them.
Next I spread more seed, this time throwing it under bushes and trees. This time lots of little birds came. It is tough to be a little bird. You don't dare feed anywhere in the open. I guess they are afraid of bigger birds, or cats, or humans. They will only feed where they can remain mostly out of sight. They are picky where they peck.
PERSONAL OBSERVATION: I have been told that only hummingbirds can fly backwards. Not so. Finches and bigger birds do too, When finches were feeding from a hanging feeder, the would approach, hover, and drive off whatever bird had perched on the feeder, and would fly backwards when perched bird refused to move. It aint graceful, but it does the trick.