Dealing with Blackbirds, Doves, and Pigeons
Sometimes you just have too many blackbirds, doves, and pigeons. They can eat more than their share of food and chase other birds away. However, you can be a seasonally savvy hobbyist by anticipating the arrival of your problem birds and implementing the following solutions to keep these birds from monopolizing your feeders.
The Right Food
We offer a variety of foods to help you deal with nuisance birds at your feeders.
- Feed black oil sunflower seeds in the shell or the larger, harder-shelled striped sunflower seed. Both are difficult for sparrows and starlings to open.
- Instead of sunflower seed, offer only safflower seed. Blackbirds and starlings do not seem to like this seed and usually leave it alone.
- Offer high-quality blends in tube feeders and consider removing the feeder's perches. Small birds can land on the seed ports just fine, while larger birds can hang on to the port for only a short time and thus eat less food.
- Offer only pure rendered suet cakes as European Starlings often ignore them. Starlings are attracted to the other ingredients (like peanuts) in suet-blend cakes more than just plain suet.
- Don't offer foods containing cracked corn and millet that are favorites of House Sparrows, European Starlings, Rock Pigeons, grackles, and blackbirds.
Deter larger birds from visiting your existing feeder by adding an On-Guard™ wire mesh cage. Our On-Guard solutions are designed to allow smaller birds access but prevent doves, pigeons, even blackbirds from reaching the food in a feeder. We offer a variety of cages that easily fit on our seed tube, finch, peanut, suet and some of our specialty feeders.
We offer a variety of feeders that help you feed only the birds you want.
- EcoTough® Upside-down Suet Feeder - This feeder is designed to allow birds to feed from below, a comfortable practice for woodpeckers, nuthatches, chickadees and other clinging birds but difficult for starlings.
- Dinner Bell™ feeder - Use this versatile feeder to offer a number of different foods. The Dinner Bell's adjustable dome can be raised and lowered to allow access for smaller birds.
- The Eliminator™ and Fundamentals Squirrel-proof feeders. Both of these feeders are weight-sensitive and will close off access to the food when heavier visitors, such as pigeons and most doves, sit on a perch.
How to Say “No” to Blackbirds
Dealing With Starlings
What's up with all these black birds taking over your feeders? More than likely, it's the European Starling that's been dominating your feeders these days! However, there are several solutions to keep these birds from monopolizing feeders.
- Fill your feeders with just enough fresh food in the morning and then in the evening to be sure your "favorite" birds eat it before the starlings find it.
- Offer your favorite WBU seed blends in tube feeder as opposed to a hopper feeder. This will help diminish the amount of seed that the starlings tend to throw to the ground.
- Safflower. It's a small, white seed that is high in protein and fat. Many of your favorite birds will readily eat safflower; starlings typically do not because the very hard shell is difficult to open.
- Offer WBU Simply Suet, which the starlings don't seem to like. Don't worry, this won't prevent your woodpeckers and favorite birds from visiting.
- Try feeding Peanuts in the Shell to help attract jays, titmice, chickadees, nuthatches, and woodpeckers. Starlings don't seem to bother with these much.
- Continue to feed Nyjer® (thistle) to your goldfinches. Starlings don't seem to care much for this seed. Also, you might be surprised to see a few other visitors to your finch feeder; such as chickadees and nuthatches.
- Add WBU On-Guard Cages to your feeders. They allow smaller birds through while keeping out larger birds.