Grackles and Starlings and Blackbirds, Oh My!

Dealing with Starlings

What's up with all these black birds taking over my feeders? We’ve heard many reports of grackles and starlings dominating area feeders. And with their young out of the nest, there’s more of them than ever!

However, there are several solutions to keep these birds from monopolizing feeders:

  • Offer safflower. It's a small, white seed that is high in protein and fat. Many of your favorite birds will readily eat safflower; grackles and starlings typically do not because the very hard shell is difficult to open. Serve safflower straight up, not mixed in other seed.
  • Add WBU On-Guard Cages to your feeders. They allow smaller birds through while keeping out larger birds. We have them for WBU tube feeders as well as for suet cages and our WBU cylinder feeder.
  • 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 grackles and starlings find it.
  • Offer your favorite WBU seed blends in a tube feeder as opposed to a hopper feeder. This will help diminish the amount of seed that the grackles and starlings tend to throw to the ground.
  • Offer suet cakes in a WBU upside-down feeder. Grackles and starlings can’t cling well and some of our favorite birds are expert clingers.
  • Offer WBU Simply Suet, which grackles and starlings don't seem to like. Don't worry, this won't prevent your woodpeckers and favorite birds from visiting.
  • Continue to feed Nyjer® (thistle) to your goldfinches. Grackles and starlings don't seem to care much for this seed.
  • Set your Eliminator to a more sensitive setting. You can also take off the perching ring and turn the perches to make them shorter. Remember to tighten the wing nut on the bottom to lock the perches!

Don’t give up feeding the birds just because grackles and starlings are around! Stop in today and let us help you enjoy your summer birdfeeding!!

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