Once your new feeder is installed and filled the birds need to know that the food source has changed. Remember that from the birds viewpoint there is now a big shiny scary object in with them. They need to learn to trust this thing!

The easiest way to train the birds to use the feeder is to place an object, like a rock, on the treadle thereby holding the door to the feed all the way open. Show a few of the birds where the feed is by placing them on the treadle and if needed, gently put their head into the feed. You could sprinkle a trail of feed up to the plate and some on the lip of the tray, too.

With the treadle held down they will soon begin to trust this new object, especially since it's full of food! Once a few get it they will show the others. Don't forget to take all the other feed sources away so they will get hungry.

After a day or so the rock can be removed and once again they will be cautious as now there is movement and sound when they step on the treadle. It won't take very long at all though and they will realize that it didn't hurt them before and it won't now. Besides - dinner is waiting in there!!

Every once in awhile it takes a bit longer to train - be aware that if you "baby" them and feed them cause you feel sorry they are not getting enough to eat because they are still wary of the feeder - you are actually teaching them they don't have to eat from the feeder, that you will come and rescue them. You will prolong the training to no end!!  That is not why you got it though I am sure!

It is important that you force the issue. Keep them locked up if possible and they will get the idea eventually. They will learn that it won't hurt them and when they do - you're set!