What to do about those pesky Blackbirds

As soon as we get one of those picturesque snowfalls the hordes of Blackbirds make their appearance. They'll descend in mass by the thousands and block out the sun. Blackbird flocks are comprised of Starlings, Grackles, Red-wing Blackbirds and Cowbirds. There is no perfect solution for making them leave but there are ways to lessen their impact on your feeders. Blackbirds are a nuisance throughout the late winter early spring. They will generally move north and divide into separate nesting territories as the weather warms up. They are usually out of our area by April.

  • You can try offering Safflower as the only seed. The safflower seed is triangular in shape and has a harder shell which makes it difficult for some of the Blackbirds to crack open.
  • You can try using plain suet or and upside down suet feeder to dissuade them from eating all the suet in an hour.
  • The best solution is to put cages on all some of your feeders to ensure the little birds have a feeder to eat from without having to deal with those pushy Blackbirds. If you have a Wild Birds Unlimited tube feeder bring it in and we can outfit it with a cage.
  • You can partially fill your feeders at say 4 pm. This will benefit the birds before the night falls and  be a place for them to fill up after a long cold night. But let it go empty for the middle of the day so there's little for the Blackbirds.
  • Another method of lessening the impact of Blackbirds and feed your colorful birds is to spread birdseed about. Each morning I will broadcast about two cups of birdseed away from the feeders. What this does is break up the flocks of all birds to feed on the ground. This allows Cardinals, Mourning Doves and all the small birds to get a chance at seed without having to deal with the Blackbird mobs at the feeders.