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How to keep blackbirds away from feeder?

How to keep blackbirds away from feeder

Ever wondered how to keep blackbirds away from the feeder? Keeping blackbirds away from the feeder can be a challenge. There are several ways to approach this problem, but the best way to keep blackbirds away may vary depending on your specific situation. 

Some people recommend using a scarecrow or other deterrents, while others suggest removing all food sources except those inaccessible to blackbirds. Regardless of your chosen method, it is essential to remain consistent and vigilant to deter these birds from visiting your feeder.

In this article, we’ll talk about how to keep blackbirds away from the feeder. Birds like these are bully birds and often probe other birds’ feeders. Hence, we need some tips and tricks to stop blackbirds and creatures. Our ways to prevent blackbirds will also work for starlings and grackles. So, those looking to take care of bird feeders will have great help from our article.


How to keep Blackbirds away from feeder?

scare blackbird from feeder

This section will provide three ways to avoid blackbirds on small bird feeders. But why do we need to keep blackbirds away from feeders? Blackbirds and other similar birds are big. They can scare away the small birds. However, if blackbirds get close to feeders, they’ll undoubtedly try to eat the food of small birds.

So, we’ll talk about feeder types, proper food, and distraction tricks to avoid blackbirds coming close to feeders. Find the most suitable feeders and food, and you won’t have to worry about big birds.

Feeder Types

We’ve come up with five different feeder types that aren’t compatible with blackbirds, starlings, and grackles. So, use them, and you’ll see none of these birds near the feeder. This is one of the possible solutions to your question of how to keep blackbirds away from the feeder.

Use Caged Bird Feeders

They’re readily available caged bird feeders in the market. However, if you’ve got a feeder big enough for blackbirds, you can modify it to be enclosed. Try putting cables or wires around the feeders to keep the birds in. Keeping the openings big enough for the smaller birds to get through is essential. Small birds only need a length of 1.5 to 2 cm.

You can avoid the big birds like grackles and blackbirds in this way. Squirrel-proof and domed cage bird feeders are the best ones available. So, buy such a feeder that allows only tiny birds inside.

Seed Catcher Tray

Seed Catcher Tray

Not only starlings, blackbirds, and grackles look for small bird feeders. Pigeons are notoriously known to go towards feeders and cause a problem. To avoid this, we can use seed trays. A seed catcher tray can collect the seeds and other small food granules in a container. 

If we place the container near a feeder with a small hole, we can avoid the pigeons, grackles, etc. The best way is to make a hole in the mid-position of a container. Then, attaching it to a feeder will be of no help to giant birds. This way, we can keep the food of our small birds safer.

Starling-Proof Suet Feeder

Starling-Proof Suet Feeder
Image: https://birdseedandbinoculars.com/

Different starling-proof suet feeders like the Hummingbird feeders are compatible with small birds only. Due to the construction of these feeders, big birds can’t access the food inside them.

Note that big birds find it hard to eat food or seeds underneath a feeder. For example, there’re particular upside and down feeders (starling-proof). Birds can only eat foods from the downward part of the feeder.

Many small birds, including sparrows, are acrobatic and will quickly eat the seeds from an upside-down suet feeder. These feeders mostly favor birds like nuthatches. Next, we’ll discuss a specific tube feeder that keeps blackbirds away.

Straight-Sided Finch Tube Feeder

Straight-Sided Finch Tube Feeder

These feeders come with metal feeding holes that will keep most blackbirds away. However, if your bird feeders are in a place with many squirrels, finch tube feeders are the solution.

Note that these feeders are primarily favorable for finches. It’s because the metal construction materials make the feeders durable. Also, ensure that the holes on the feeder are just big enough for small birds.

Blackbirds, grackles, and starlings will hamper small birds if the feeding holes are more extensive than 2 cm. Usually, it’s better to choose feeders with only 1 to 2 cm feeding holes.

Cylinder Tube Feeder

These tube feeders come with perches at the bottom. So, a blackbird or other bully birds can’t sit on it and eat the seeds. Also, we can place these tube feeders in an enclosure to be extra safe.

The small birds can fly and land quickly on these tube feeders. So they can eat the seeds before the blackbirds get to them. You can place more than one of these tube feeders in your garden to attract different birds.

Right Food

How to keep blackbirds away from feeder

To further answer your question about how to keep blackbirds away from the feeder, let’s talk about the food compatibility of birds. Small birds love specific foods that the big ones might not like. 

Choosing the right food items will keep blackbirds away if we can select the right food items. Small birds love Nijer, Safflower, Sunflower, and other seeds. Also, these seeds aren’t favorable for blackbirds.

Hence, choose these seeds on the bird feeder, and you’ll see the trick. Also, a mixture of different food items is a good solution. But, usually, blackbirds don’t like the mix of seeds. In this way, you can avoid blackbirds on feeders.

Offer a distraction

We can offer distraction in several ways. It’s a distraction if we use a mixture of seeds somewhere other than the bird feeder location. Blackbirds and similar birds don’t love the mixture of cheap seeds. So, staying away from the place will be the only option when they find that.

You won’t see blackbirds anymore, and they won’t come to your feeders. You might even be able to stop birds like starlings and grackles from being annoying.

Plan Your Feeding Station

Plan your feeding station to keep blackbirds, starlings, and other large birds away. Follow the steps below and use the plan to secure your feeding station. 

  1. Use Safflower seeds on the feeders. Safflower seeds aren’t compatible with big birds.
  2. The mixture of safflower, sunflower, and Nijer seeds has a smell that isn’t loved by blackbirds, starlings, and other large birds. So, use the mixture at the feeding station.
  3. Take some junk food and mix it with some cheap seeds. Then, keep the mixture somewhere near the feeding station. This trick will confuse the big birds and eventually keep them away.
  4. Using tube feeders is a probable solution. It’s because the blackbirds can’t sit or accommodate on such feeders.
  5. Stop putting food in your feeders, where the mean birds have been hanging out for a few days. We hope that they will leave and go somewhere else. 
  6. There are also feeders for dark sunflower seeds, which only small birds that can cling to them can eat. Blackbirds and Starlings have a more challenging time getting food from these feeders.

So, planning a feeding station with a proper feeder and the right foods will keep large birds away. However, if you avoid giving food in the feeder for a few days, there can be a problem. You’ll lose sight of the birds you desire to watch for some time. But they will come back in the end.

Bird feeders that keep large birds out

Here are some other feeders we thought might help you to keep blackbirds away from the feeder.

Bird feeders that keep large birds out
  1. Audubon Caged Bird Feeders– A metal cage is wrapped around a traditional tube feeder for these feeders to work. This feeder keeps larger birds from getting inside.
  2. Finch Feeders– Only specific types of seeds are compatible with yellow finch feeders. Use only Nijer Seeds.
  3. Dome Feeders– Dome feeders have specific-sized domes. We can adjust them and make only the necessary space for small birds.
  4. Window Bird Feeder- The feeder has suction cups for the window. The seed reservoir then glides in and out of the roof. Fortunately, the tray is too small for larger birds to accommodate and eat.
  5. Woodlink Hoppers– It’s a type of food reservoir. However, it’s large and can be accessed by blackbirds. But, we can constantly adjust them and make them compatible with small birds only.
  6. Upside Down Feeders- These suet feeders are perfect for small acrobatic birds. A bird has to eat upside down as the feeder has the food holes in the downward part.
  7. Hummingbird Feeders- This feeder keeps most of the big birds away. It’s a nectar feeder. Only a few small birds are attracted to nectar. This way, you can draw small birds and avoid the big birds.
  8. Caged Squirrel Proof Feeder- These feeders are caged with metal or plastic wirings. Hence, big birds can’t eat from the feeders with the small space available in the food holes.

Final Words

Feeding all birds is important as they contribute to us in several ways. Big birds also require food. However, we’ve given tips on how to keep blackbirds away from the feeder in this article. Using the perfect combination of feeders and foods can help keep blackbirds away. 

Note that the plan and other tricks we mentioned will also work for other big birds.

You can also keep the starlings and grackles away if you select a feeder as we’ve told. Also, if you want to add any steps to keep blackbirds away from the feeder, let us know in the comments.

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