I am always surprised about how resourceful the wild critters are. I recently hung two bird feeders. One is just outside the window by my kitchen table. Now I have not seen a single bird eat from it, but I have watched a very resourceful chipmunk hanging out and chowing down until most of the feed is gone. I have another feeder on the porch and I have watched another or the same little chippy trying to figure out how to get to it as it is hanging in a odd place. Still other than a couple of noisy jays, no birds...come on finches, wrens, and chickadees....the chipmunk is stealing your dinner.
I fully expect that soon the chippy will be so well fed he will be unable to climb the porch railing, leap onto the window sill, reach the pole and brace himself between the pole and the feeder to get to his chow. Then we will call him the chubby chippy.
I've found the birds are more likely to visit feeders, near trees or large bushes. They like to "scout" the area from the trees/bushes, before visiting the feeder.
By all means let's be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out.