Jump to content
Whatbird Community Board
  • Announcements

    • Bigfoot

      Whatbird Forums Rules   01/08/17

      'Help Me Identify a Bird' rules: When posting a new thread, please: 1. Read the FAQ and forum rules before posting 2. Include the location in your Post when seeking ID 3. Include the date of the sighting 4. Provide a photo or detailed description of the bird Forum rules: By posting in the WhatBird forums you agree to the following board rules: 1. You will be tolerant and respectful of your fellow members 2. You will not spam 3. You will not post sexually explicit, vulgar or racist material 4. You will not advertise or sell products 5. You will not discuss illegal activities 6. You will keep topics of religion and politics to a bare minimum 7. You will not take advantage of chat to break any of the above rules. 8. Members will not discuss homosexuality nor make any comments about others' sexuality. Breaking any of these rules may result in a suspension or a permanent ban from the forums!! Furthermore, anyone who causes continuous dissent and disarray in the forums will be banned as seen fit by the forum moderators under the pretense of "trolling." Gallery photos: Regarding photos in the Whatbird gallery, please keep in mind that the copyright belongs to the person who took the photo. So please do not use any of the Gallery photos without requesting permission from the photographer. Forum Photos: If you use photos other than your own, please place a link to the referenced photo and do not post other photographer's work directly.
GracieAllen

Problems with starlings, blackbirds, and so on

Recommended Posts

I'm near Minneapolis.

I have a couple feeders in the yard - You fill them from the top and the food comes out at the bottom where birds sit and eat...  We get cardinals and a variety of the normal northern, midwest birds.  I use oily sunflower seeds...  My problem is I've mostly attracted blackbirds and starlings and other birds that aren't what I'm after.  And they eat a lot...  They'll empty the feeder in a day.  And throw seeds all over. 

I've also used a mix of seeds in one of those vertical feeders with the screen on the outside for the finches and all the other small birds...  They're eating that too...

How do I keep these nuisance birds out of the feeder?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi. Check out the link below to Amazon. This is a caged feeder. Starlings and other blackbirds can't get in these so they are great for the smaller birds. Unfortunately cardinals can't fit in either. But I have two caged feeders out and get several small birds using them daily.

https://www.amazon.com/Droll-Yankee-Green-Feeder-Domed/dp/B0007LQ2QS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1497642827&sr=8-1&keywords=droll+yankee+caged+bird+feeders

Also consider a true thistle feeder. You don't need a cage around these because the perches are much shorter so only smaller birds will land. I have this exact feeder and the finches love it. I've never seen a blackbird land on it either.

https://www.amazon.com/Droll-Yankees-CJTHM36Y-36-Inch-20-Port/dp/B0009U7RGG/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1497642917&sr=8-2&keywords=droll+yankee+thistle+feeder

They also make caged suet feeders. My favorite one and the one I own was purchased from DrsFoster and smith - see link below.

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=27856

All the links I shared will help fight the black birds. I'm having many of them visit right now too so I understand your frustration. Others have suggested feeding only Safflower seed but I haven't tried this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tried it.  Bought a couple of the caged feeders and put them out.  The blackbirds, starlings and grackles love 'em.  They hang on the outside of the cage, stick their heads through the holes and enjoy the ridiculously expensive patio mix, no waste mix, and sunflower chips!  They even manage to throw the seeds PAST the 16" seed catchers below the feeders!  The ground feeders are liking the grub, but since these guys can empty a whole, large feeder in one day, I'm going through a fair amount of food!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've seen feeders on the Internet that require the birds to hang upside down to feed.  I've seen suet, thistle, and seed feeders of this design.  They may be worth trying.  The question is, do they go too far in limiting the variety of birds that can feed at them?  There are only a limited number of songbirds that can eat from them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My advice is to be patient, and perhaps only half fill your feeders. Blackbirds are a native species so though they may not be as pretty as Cardinals, they gotta eat too. Starlings are another matter, but at least they tend to overwhelm feeders only for a few weeks and move on. I was once overly concerned about Grackles and Starlings etc. but when a friend suggested that if I got into the hobby of feeding birds, I should be willing to feed all birds regardless of desirability. There are some things like using safflower seeds, which tend to deter some of the Starlings, but I've found that it detracts other birds (outside of Cardinals) as well.  Also avoid cheap mixes. If they have red millet in there most birds won't touch it outside of Starlings and House Sparrows. If you go to a dedicated wild bird feed shop, they tend to tailor seed mixes for birds in that area and often have really good advice on attracting more of the birds you want to see. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Any updates? Hope things are improving. 

 

I started tracking what birds I see during the different months and unfortunately the starlings do make their way to my yard in big numbers throughout the year. I just put less food out when I see them. Also, cardinals like to eat later so I'll put some good stuff out when I get home from work and usually the starlings are gone by then. 

I've never seen a starling reach through my caged feeders nor land on my finch feeder. But I do keep my feeders for the smaller birds away from my other regular feeders so I'm thinking that helps. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×