Is There Any Way to Keep Crows Out of Bird Feeders?

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Bird feeders are a popular way to get songbirds up close so that you can observe and photograph them. The downside to this is that larger, unwanted birds --- such as crows --- may eventually find your feeder and figure out that you are maintaining a constant food source. Getting rid of these intelligent creatures poses several challenges that must be overcome one step at a time. Remember that it may take several methods to keep crows away from your bird feeder.

Things You'll Need

  • Old clothing
  • Straw
  • Treated stake (2 inches by 2 inches by 6 feet)
  • Sledgehammer
  • Tie wire
  • Wire cutters
  • Plastic owl or turkey decoy
  • Hacksaw
  • Wire mesh
  • Shelled peanuts
  • Work gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Use a scarecrow. Stuff a pair of pants and a shirt with straw. Drive a 2-inch-by-2-inch treated stake into the ground near the bird feeder with a sledgehammer. Secure the stuffed clothing to the stake with tie wire. Cut the wire with wire cutters as necessary.

  • Wire a plastic owl or turkey decoy into a tree near the bird feeder. Both of these species of bird are mortal enemies of the crow. Sometimes this keeps crows away, but sometimes it draws them in to attack the decoy.

  • Keep your yard clean. Pick up birdseed that has fallen out of your feeder. Keep excess food and shiny objects that may attract crows out of your yard.

  • Shorten the perch on the bird feeder. Use a hacksaw to cut the perch on your feeder to three-quarters of an inch. A smaller perch restricts the size of the bird that may land there and feed.

  • Surround the feeder with wire mesh. Attach the mesh to the upper and lower edges of the feeder with tie wire. Leave only a small two-inch hole in each side to give smaller birds access to the food.

  • Feed the bigger birds bigger food. Fill up the crows by throwing shelled peanuts on the ground in your yard away from the bird feeder. Be sure to use roasted, unsalted peanuts.

Tips & Warnings

  • Depending on the time of year and the food situation in your area, some or all of these ideas may work. Or, none of them may work. If you do not have any success, let the birds empty your feeder, clean it thoroughly and leave it empty for a month. Begin by feeding again after no birds have visited your feeder for at least a week.
  • Work gloves and safety glasses are required when using hand tools.

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References

  • Photo Credit FPG/Retrofile/Getty Images
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