How to Keep Blackbirds Out of Bird Feeders


For the backyard bird watcher nothing is more frustrating than looking out the window and seeing large blackbirds descending onto the bird feeder and scaring all the other birds away. Not only do the blackbirds keep other birds from getting food, but when these birds arrive, it is usually by the multitudes and often it is the entire flock. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to stop them and reclaim your bird feeder.

Things You'll Need

  • safflower seed
  • Fill the bird feeder with safflower seeds. Blackbirds may like it when they are young, but by the time they return to your feeder as adults, their taste for it will have passed. It may take a while for other birds to discover it is something edible, but once they do, they'll be happy with it and your feeder will be free of blackbirds (Reference 1).

  • Use a caged feeder. A caged feeder will allow smaller birds, such as finches, wrens and chickadees to pass through the cage for access to the seed but keep larger birds out. One disadvantage to this type of feeder, however, is that it will also stop robins, cardinals and blue jays from being able to get at the food.

  • Hang a feeder with a collapsible perch. The collapsible perch allows lighter birds to land on the perch but keeps larger birds off by collapsing under their weight.

  • Use decorative lawn fence as a barrier around platform feeders to keep bigger birds out. This short fence, used for decoration around flower gardens and islands, is the perfect height for allowing smaller birds access to the platform, yet is tall enough to block blackbirds.

  • Remove all feed from the feeder and on the ground. Take away the blackbird's food supply for about seven days and it will usually encourage them to move on. If this is not an option, try to buy feed that does not contain milo, corn or millet, as these are some of the blackbird's favorite foods (Reference 2).

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