Critter Solutions: Blackbirds, Pigeons
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
Many birds will sweep through seed blends to find the seeds they want to eat. Uneaten
seed gets tossed to the ground. By offering the right blend for the feeding situation,
you can reduce the mess that accumulates below the feeder and eliminate the problem
birds that hang around the area.
We offer a variety of foods to help you deal with nuisance birds at your feeders.
- Feed blends loaded with black oil sunflower seeds in the shell or the larger, harder-shelled striped sunflower seed. Both are difficult for sparrows and starlings to open.
- Offer only safflower seed. It's a small, white seed that is high in protein and fat. Many of your favorite birds will readily eat safflower. Blackbirds and starlings do not seem to like this seed and usually leave it alone.
- Offer high quality blends like No Mess LM or No Mess Plus in tube feeders with a cage around it or 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 discount blends with cereals and fillers, such as corn (whole or cracked) wheat, rye, rape, canola, rice, oats, barley, milo and flax seed. These just end up in a pile under feeders. Doves and pigeons love these and are favorites of House Sparrows, European Starlings, 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. Adding a tray will lessen the mess under a feeder, but allows larger birds to hang on longer.
We offer a variety of feeders that help you feed only the birds you want.
- A Suet Cage Feeder holding 2 suets - This feeder is designed to allow small birds to climb inside to feed, a comfortable practice for woodpeckers, nuthatches, chickadees, titmice and other clinging birds. The larger woodpeckers can stick their heads in to eat.
- 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. We also have a cage for this feeder.
- 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 squirrels, pigeons and most doves, sit on a perch.