Protecting Your Bird Feeder from Blackbirds

Often, your bird feeder will attract not only the intended birds but also a few pests as well. Blackbirds are the true pests of the Aviary world as they are generally bigger than most birds and will overpower the smaller ones so that they can get to the bird food that you has been laid out. 

Blackbirds will also devour the seeds in a bird feeder very quickly which means that once they have gone there will be little food left for the others. If you have to continually refill it, not only is it costing you money but you are giving them a reason to return sooner. 

However, there are ways to discourage blackbirds from feeding at your bird feeder.                  


No Seed

One way to prevent blackbirds from devouring all of the seeds from your bird feeder is to stop filling it. Regardless of whether your bird feeder is at ground level or on a platform, if you don’t fill it for about a week or two this should see them get discouraged and move on to another food source. 


Change the Seed

If you buy bird seed that contains milo, you are offering blackbirds something that no other bird likes. Blackbirds also like to eat millet and cracked corn which is popular with many other birds. What blackbirds don’t like is safflower so try putting this into your bird feeder instead of sunflower seeds. 


Enclose you Bird Feeder

You can purchase bird feeders that are protected with a wire mesh or you could cover your existing bird feeding equipment with some chicken wire. By putting mesh or chicken wire around the feeder, this means that smaller birds can get through to eat the food but larger birds will be blocked. Since blackbirds are larger birds, this will act as a good deterrent. 

Change the Bird Feeder

There are different types of bird feeders and there are ways to hang them which will distract blackbirds. For instance, if you hang your bird feeder upside down you will distract many blackbirds. 

For different types of bird feeders you could try one of these types.


Thistle Feeder

This type of bird feeder is a tubular feeder and is probably the most common type of bird feeder. It can be filled to specifically attract finches. If you then select seeds which don’t include nuts you will be discouraging hungry blackbirds from consuming all of the food. 


Suet Feeder

Suet contains energy-rich nutrients which are useful for keeping birds warm in colder climates. The disadvantage of suet feeders is that they are a particular attraction for blackbirds. However, to discourage these birds mix the suet mix with safflower.


Collapsing Perches

These types of feeders are available from many garden centers. The way they work is that the perches will collapse if the heavier birds such as blackbirds land on them due to their weight. Smaller birds will be fine because they are not heavy enough to cause the perch to give way.