How to Discourage Blackbirds and Grackles – Part One


Although spring bird feeding is an exciting time for birders as a variety of colorful songbirds fills your yard with entertainment and music, you may not be as fond of other birds that come to your backyard.
In fact, many birders find challenges and frustrations while feeding backyard birds in spring and wonder how to discourage problem birds such as Blackbirds and Grackles who come by and invade bird feeders.
How to discourage Blackbirds and Grackles – two simple ways:

  • feed type
  • feeder type

We will also consider attracting:

  • smaller birds
  • larger birds

First, what bird foods attract Blackbirds and Grackles?
Many birders use mixed birdseed, which contains ground feed (millet, cracked corn, Milo, wheat, canary grass seed, etc…) Blackbirds and Grackles are very fond of ground feed.
Sunflower seed is a staple for feeding backyard birds and is highly recommended by bird feeding experts. It has the highest fat content of any bird seed and attracts the widest variety of backyard and migratory birds.
However, with this wonderful variety, and given the approach of the spring migration period, come Blackbirds and Grackles, which love sunflower seeds as well.
Other bird foods that attract Blackbirds and Grackles:

  • cracked corn
  • sunflower seed
  • nuts and nutmeats
  • bread products
  • suet

Now that we know what bird foods attract them, what bird feeders attract Blackbirds and Grackles?
Any large bird feeders attract them.
Hopper feeders usually have an outer rim that gives these short-distance migratory birds an advantage.
Fly-through, platform, and other large mounted bird feeders give these birds ample room to gather in flocks.
Any bird feeder with large perches or rims may encourage them by giving them room to perch.
Now that we know what bird feed and bird feeders attract Blackbirds and Grackles, we have a better understanding of how to discourage Blackbirds and Grackles!
– Craig Curtis

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