Birdwatchers typically prefer small, colorful songbirds, but many bird feeders indiscriminately invite all kinds of birds. Unfortunately, this includes blackbirds or “grackles,” as some prefer to call them. Blackbirds disturb birdwatchers by bullying smaller birds. On a shallower note, many consider the large birds less attractive and therefore less fun to watch than swallows, chickadees and other, more colorful avians. Discourage blackbirds with feeders designed to block larger birds while allowing diminutive songbirds to come and feed as they please.
Things You'll Need
- Small saw
- Suet feeder
- Hopper feeder
- 1/4-inch mesh chicken wire
Saw any perches on your bird feeders in half. This will give enough space for small birds to perch while preventing larger birds from landing.
Remove platform feeders and regularly clean birdseed from the ground. Replace the current feeders with a cage-type suet feeder to provide suet in the winter or a hopper feeder to provide loose seed during the warmer months. The cage around the suet feeder allows smaller birds to access the food inside while blocking larger birds. Hopper feeders are designed to close under the weight of larger birds or squirrels, blocking access to food.
Wrap chicken wire around your feeders if you prefer not to replace them entirely. The mesh will prevent larger birds from accessing the food inside.
Avoid birdseed mixes containing milo, sunflower seeds, millet or cracked corn, which blackbirds favor. Instead, try safflower seed or peanuts.
- Photo Credit David De Lossy/Photodisc/Getty Images