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HELP! The Grackles are taking over!


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#1 QuincyMom

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Posted 26 September 2010 - 01:30 PM

We have two feeder systems with multiple feeders in our backyard in Jacksonville. Lately, we are being SWARMED by Grackles -- sometimes by as many as 40+ at a time!

Not only are they eating us out of house and home, but they've pretty much scared off all of our other birds except for the Mourning Doves (don't get me started on them!) The Grackles come to our feeders for hours at a time -- as soon as we put out food, they eat and eat and eat until everything is gone.

Any suggestions are MUCH appreciated. Thanks in advance!



#2 spyonabird

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Posted 26 September 2010 - 04:10 PM

We were having a similiar Grackle problem until we changed our seed to Safflower.  The Grackles didn't care for it  and have moved on (but the Mourning Doves still devour it).  Try it and see if you get the same results.

Denise



#3 Seattle

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Posted 26 September 2010 - 07:23 PM

Have you tried one of the feeders that have the mesh around it so that only the little guys fit.   We don't have grackles here so I've never had that problem.   But grackles are in that smart bird catagory - either they'll figure out a way or find someone else to who'll feed them.

#4 YourBirdOasis

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Posted 29 September 2010 - 03:18 PM

You can try using a feeder that is surrounded by a wire cage which serves to exclude certain birds based on their size.  Check out one here http://www.yourbirdo...com/dythdc.html.  

 

Although grackles look similar to crows, they are in different families.  The bird family that is characteristically extremely smart, which includes crows, is the Family Corvidae (members are referred to as corvids).  Grackles are in the Family Icteridae (they are referred to as icterids, or "blackbirds").



#5 n2gzs

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 01:25 PM

I have a ton of problems with them in the spring. I got a squirrel proof feeder and added additional weights to it so grackles couldn't feed from it. Unfortunately they love my neighbor's hedge row of Russian Olive and nest there so they hang out until their young are ready to fledge. Can't get rid of 'em. Just wait 'em out. They'll migrate on eventually.

#6 BGorm

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Posted 02 October 2010 - 07:36 AM

 I used to have them all the time .. along with other birds that I didn't want around the feeder ... I have 10 feeders up and I use BOSS .. I have no problems anymore with Grackles .. Starlings .. Cowbirds ..   Anything with corn or like millet will attract them ..

 

 Brian



#7 BlueJayJoe

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Posted 02 October 2010 - 07:39 PM

Ya know, when I started feeding birds, I also disliked certain birds, and tried endlessly to discourage them.  The "undesirables" included grackles, house sparrows, mourning doves, any kind of blackbird, and of course the squirrels.  But, in the last year I've had a change of heart, and now have an "all welcome" attitude.  It takes away too much enjoyment to constantly worry about that, and I also have found the positives in each bird.  Thats a topic for another discussion, so I'll stick to the grackles.  I welcomed them this past spring, and to keep them from bothering the other birds, I just give them their food away from the rest.  I find that grackles prefer cracked corn and millet, so I serve those up in a couple of tray feeders, giving the sunflower eaters peace in their area.  Also, that positive thing i found with them....they eat june bugs and grubs, which I've had a problem with in the past, and to my surprise, this year, I had NONE.  I watched those grackles forage through the lawn, and I assume they took care of those pesky june bugs for me.  Before I knew it, they were gone.  Granted, I live in Wisconsin, so they are spring and early summer visitors only, and are part of the light at the end of the tunnel.....the tunnel that is the LONG LONG winter.

#8 n2gzs

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 08:19 AM

Yeah you know while I really got tired of them cleaning out my feeders in a day's time, it was kind of cool observing their persistence and ingenuity. I would modify feeders to keep them out, and it would deter them for a day or two, but then they would figure out a way. It wasn't until I went to a squirrel proof feeder and modified it for their weight that I stopped them. As far as using BOSS, my grackles ate everything I put out. They don't care much for Safflower though, so in two other feeders, I use only safflower. Brother squirrel enjoyed that quite a bit too till I gave him a dose of cayenne pepper.

#9 Becky Y

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 09:44 AM

The grackles here in South Texas can be awful depending on where you live. They seem to adopt an area and take over. Grocery store parking lots, hospital parking lots, treed areas near the Riverwalk arear and apartment complexes seem to be favorites. There are no feeders there and as a matter of fact the city has brought in raptors to move the population to other regions because the pooping is so awful. Cars parked under trees in the late afternoon are sure targets. What a mess and the noise can be deafening!

At dusk when they all fly in it is a bit like a scene from the Hitchcock movie The Birds. 

I really do not think it is the food but the trees that attract them. The apartments and hospitals have used raptor sounds to drive them away which seems to work. I wonder if you could set up some speakers and give it a try. The only problem would be that it would probably drive all your birds away. 






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