How To Keep Black Birds Away From Bird Feeder

Last Updated on September 12, 2023 by Susan Levitt

Hey there bird lovers! Are you tired of black birds taking over your bird feeder and scaring away all the other beautiful species? Don’t worry, I’m here to help. As a seasoned bird feeder expert, I’ve encountered this issue numerous times and have found effective ways to keep those pesky black birds at bay.

Firstly, it’s important to understand why black birds are drawn to your feeder in the first place. They’re attracted to seeds that are easy to access and high in fat content – like sunflower seeds. So, if you want to deter them from visiting your feeder, try switching up the type of seed you offer. Opt for smaller seeds or blends specifically designed for songbirds instead. This will make it harder for larger birds like blackbirds to get their fill without putting in too much effort. But don’t worry – all the other feathered friends will still be able to enjoy their meals while keeping the bullies out.

Understanding The Behavior Of Black Birds

Like a scene from an Alfred Hitchcock movie, black birds can quickly become overwhelming and dominate your bird feeder. However, before we discuss how to keep them away, it’s important to understand their behavior.

Black birds are highly social creatures that communicate with each other through various calls and songs. They congregate in large flocks during the winter months, making it difficult for other species to get near the feeders. These birds also have unique nesting habits – they tend to build their nests in colonies, which means there could be multiple pairs of black birds competing for food at any given time.

To deter these feathered invaders, it’s essential to know what attracts them to your bird feeder. Black birds prefer seed mixes containing corn or sunflower seeds over smaller grains such as millet or nyjer. They’re also attracted to open feeding areas where they can easily spot potential predators while eating.

If you want to prevent black birds from taking over your bird feeder, consider offering seed mixtures without those appealing ingredients mentioned above and use feeders with small mesh openings designed specifically for smaller songbirds like finches and sparrows. By doing so, you’ll create a more welcoming environment for other species while keeping pesky blackbirds at bay.

Choosing The Right Type Of Bird Seed

Seed selection is crucial in attracting the right birds to your feeder while keeping unwanted ones away. Different bird species have different nutritional needs, so it’s important to choose a seed mix that caters to their specific dietary requirements. For example, blackbirds are known for being attracted to sunflower seeds and millet, but these seeds may also attract other larger birds such as crows or doves.

When selecting birdseed, consider choosing mixes with smaller seeds like Nyjer or thistle. These types of seeds will be less appealing to bigger birds and more likely to attract finches and sparrows. Additionally, you can opt for blends that contain suet or insects which are high in protein and essential for many bird species’ diets.

It’s also important to keep in mind that not all types of bird feeders work well with every type of seed. Tube feeders with small ports are ideal for dispensing Nyjer seed while hopper feeders are best suited for mixed blends containing sunflower seeds and peanuts.

Incorporating variety into your feeding routine by offering different seed options at various times throughout the year can help prevent overreliance on any one particular food source. By taking into account the nutritional needs of different bird species when selecting your birdseed, you’ll not only attract a wider range of feathered friends but also deter those pesky blackbirds from monopolizing your feeder space.

To further protect your feeder from unwanted visitors like squirrels who love raiding them, investing in a squirrel-proof feeder may be worth considering.

Investing In A Squirrel-Proof Feeder

As any bird lover knows, feeding birds is a joy and a responsibility. But when blackbirds start to take over your feeder, it can be frustrating. Investing in a squirrel-proof feeder may just be the solution you need.

Cost effective options are available for those who want to keep their feathered friends fed without breaking the bank. There are plenty of affordable models on the market that have been specifically designed to deter squirrels from eating all the food. While some people might think these feeders aren’t durable enough, they actually come with strong material that ensures longevity.

In fact, many high-quality brands offer lifetime guarantees against damage caused by squirrels or other animals. This means that investing in one now will save you money in the long run. You won’t have to replace broken or damaged feeders every year – instead, you’ll enjoy years of uninterrupted bird watching pleasure.

If you’re serious about keeping blackbirds away from your bird feeder, then investing in a squirrel-proof model is definitely worth considering. Not only do these feeders help prevent squirrels from stealing food meant for birds but also provide durability and cost-effectiveness as well. The next step involves hanging your new purchase strategically so let’s get started!

Hanging The Feeder In A Strategic Location

Hanging your feeder at the right height can help keep away black birds. Make sure it’s visible, but still out of reach from predators. Placing it near trees is great for providing shelter to the birds, but also keep in mind that trees can be where black birds like to perch. So, if you’re looking to keep them away, try to position your feeder a bit farther away from the trees. It’s all about finding the right balance. With the right placement, you should be able to attract more birds you actually want to see!

Hanging Height

Imagine sitting outside and enjoying the sight of birds flying around your bird feeder. Suddenly, a group of black birds swoop in and scare away all the other feathered friends. It can be frustrating to deal with these pesky birds, but adjusting the hanging height of your feeder can help keep them at bay.

As an expert on bird feeders, I recommend using a pulley system to make it easier to adjust the hanging height. This way, you won’t have to constantly climb up and down ladders or chairs to find the perfect spot for your feeder. With a quick pull or release of the rope, you can raise or lower the feeder as needed.

When deciding how high to hang your feeder, consider raising it higher than six feet off the ground. Black birds tend to prefer feeding at lower heights where they feel more protected from predators. By placing your feeder higher up, you’ll discourage these unwanted guests from interrupting your bird watching experience.

It’s also important to note that simply changing the height of your feeder may not completely solve the problem if black birds are particularly persistent in their attempts to get at the food inside. In this case, try adding some physical barriers such as wire mesh or cages around the openings of your feeder. These modifications will prevent larger birds from accessing the seeds while still allowing smaller species access.

By implementing these tips for adjusting hanging height and using a pulley system when necessary, you should be able to enjoy watching beautiful birds flocking towards your feeder without being interrupted by those pesky black ones!


Now that you’ve learned how to adjust the hanging height of your bird feeder, let’s move on to another important aspect of strategically placing it – visibility. Attracting birds is all about making sure they can see and easily access the food source. When choosing a location for your feeder, keep in mind that birds prefer areas with natural cover such as trees or bushes nearby where they can quickly retreat if needed.

Another tip for maximizing visibility is to place your feeder near a window or other vantage point so you can enjoy watching the birds up close. Just make sure there’s enough distance between the glass and the feeder so birds won’t accidentally fly into it. Providing perches or small branches around the feeder will also encourage birds to land and feed, giving you plenty of opportunities for bird watching.

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In addition to placement, consider adding bright colors or reflective surfaces to your feeder to catch the attention of passing birds. Red is particularly effective at attracting hummingbirds while goldfinches are drawn to yellow. Reflective materials like aluminum foil or mirrors can also be used sparingly to add some sparkle and shine.

Remember that different species have unique feeding habits and preferences when it comes to food types and feeder styles. By experimenting with various locations, heights, and designs, you’ll be able to attract more diverse bird populations while enjoying hours of bird watching right from your own backyard!

Trees Placement

Now that we’ve discussed the importance of hanging your bird feeder at a strategic height and in a visible location, let’s talk about another crucial aspect – trees placement. Trees not only provide natural cover for birds to retreat to but they also offer perches and nesting sites. As a bird feeder expert, I highly recommend taking advantage of the benefits of pruning to create an ideal environment for attracting more feathered friends.

Pruning dead or overgrown branches on nearby trees will allow more sunlight to reach your feeder, making it easier for birds to spot from afar. It also helps prevent unwanted critters like squirrels from using tree limbs as access points to your feeder. When selecting trees for planting near your feeders, consider choosing ones that produce nuts or fruits such as oak or cherry trees which can attract woodpeckers and thrushes.

Another factor to keep in mind is the type of bird-friendly trees you choose as some may be better suited for certain species than others. For example, conifers like pine and spruce are known favorites among finches while fruit-bearing trees like apple and pear tend to lure in songbirds. Additionally, flowering trees such as dogwood or magnolia can be particularly attractive to hummingbirds due to their sweet nectar-filled blooms.

Overall, strategically placing your feeder near well-pruned and diverse types of bird-friendly trees will greatly increase your chances of creating a thriving backyard habitat for various avian visitors. So get out there and start planning!

Using Deterrents Like Reflective Tape Or Wind Chimes

Reflective tape and wind chimes are effective DIY deterrents to keep black birds away from your bird feeder. Reflective tape, also known as scare tape, is a simple yet efficient solution for deterring pesky birds. The reflective surface of the tape creates an optical illusion that scares off birds. You can hang it around the feeder or attach it to poles surrounding the feeding area.

Another option is using wind chimes, which produce sounds that irritate blackbirds. Birds are sensitive to noise, and loud sounds like those produced by wind chimes will make them uncomfortable enough to leave the area. Make sure you choose the right size and material of the wind chime depending on the type of bird in your backyard.

If you prefer natural repellents over man-made ones, then consider planting herbs such as rosemary, thyme, sage or mint near your bird feeder. These herbs have strong aromas that deter black birds from coming close to your feeder. Alternatively, you can use essential oils made from these herbs mixed with water in a spray bottle and mist around the feeding area.

Incorporating DIY deterrents like reflective tape or wind chimes can be an easy and cost-effective way to keep blackbirds away from your feeders. However, if these methods do not work effectively, adding a baffle to the feeder pole may be necessary to further discourage access by larger birds.

Adding A Baffle To The Feeder Pole

Installing a baffle on the feeder pole is key to keep those pesky black birds away. You want to make sure you place the feeder pole in an area that is hard for them to access, like near a window or under a tree. Make sure the pole is high enough for the baffle to work effectively too! Finally, when you’ve got the baffle in place, check on it every so often to make sure it’s still doing its job.

Baffle Installation

As a seasoned bird feeder expert, I know that black birds can be quite the nuisance when it comes to feeding other feathered friends. One of the most effective solutions for keeping them at bay is installing a baffle on your feeder pole.

Baffles are designed to create an obstacle between the ground and feeder, making it difficult for larger birds such as black birds to climb up and access the food. When properly installed, baffles have been proven to significantly decrease their presence around feeders.

However, if you find that baffles aren’t working as effectively as desired, there are alternative solutions worth considering. For example, opting for seed blends with ingredients that aren’t desirable to black birds may help deter them from visiting your feeder altogether.

In conclusion, while baffle installation has been shown to be highly effective in deterring black birds from accessing bird feeders, there are alternative options available should they not provide adequate results. As always, experimentation and patience will ultimately lead to finding what works best for you and your feathered visitors.

Feeder Pole Placement

Now that we’ve covered the benefits of adding a baffle to your feeder pole, let’s talk about another important aspect of bird feeding: feeder pole placement. Feeder pole stability and height considerations are crucial factors in ensuring your feathered friends have safe access to their food.

Firstly, it is essential to ensure that your feeder pole is stable and secure. This can be achieved by using a sturdy base or anchor system. A wobbly or unstable feeder pole not only makes it difficult for birds to perch on but also increases the risk of accidents such as falling off or knocking over the feeder.

Secondly, when selecting a location for your feeder pole, consider the height at which it will be installed. Ideally, feeders should be placed at least five feet above ground level to prevent predators from accessing them easily. However, placing them too high may make it challenging for smaller birds to reach the food.

Additionally, keep in mind any nearby trees or structures that could provide easy access points for squirrels or other rodents looking to raid the feeder. By taking these factors into account during installation, you can create an optimal feeding environment for your avian visitors.

In summary, proper feeder pole placement involves ensuring its stability while considering appropriate height levels relative to possible predator threats and accessibility for visiting birds. These measures help guarantee safety and ease-of-use for both yourself and the feathered guests who frequent your backyard oasis.

Providing Alternative Food Sources For Black Birds

Like a thief in the night, black birds can swoop down and steal all of your bird feeder’s contents before you know it. But fear not! There are ways to keep them away while still attracting other beautiful feathered friends to your yard.

One effective technique is providing alternative food sources for black birds. Planting vegetation such as fruit trees or berry bushes will give them something else to munch on besides the seed in your feeder. Additionally, installing birdhouses specifically designed for black birds can lure them away from the feeder and into their own designated spot.

Another option is to use feeders that are less appealing to black birds. Tube feeders with small perches make it difficult for larger birds like crows and grackles (both members of the blackbird family) to access the food inside. Suet cages can also be used since they require more effort for black birds to extract the food.

Lastly, location is key when it comes to deterring black birds. Placing the feeder near dense shrubs or trees provides cover for smaller songbirds but makes it harder for larger birds to land and take over. It’s important not only where you place the feeder but what type of feeder you use as well.

By implementing these tactics, you’ll have a better chance at keeping pesky black birds away from your bird feeder and creating an enjoyable environment for other species. Next up: regularly cleaning the feeder and surrounding area so all visitors stay healthy and happy.

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Regularly Cleaning The Feeder And Surrounding Area

As a bird feeder expert, I cannot stress enough how important it is to keep your feeder clean. Not only does regular cleaning prevent mold and bacteria from forming on the feeder itself, but it also helps to discourage black birds from congregating around the area. Birds tend to avoid areas that are dirty or contaminated with feces, so by keeping your feeder clean, you can make sure that only desirable birds come to visit.

One of the benefits of disinfecting your feeder is that it kills any harmful pathogens that may be present. To do this effectively, use either a diluted bleach solution or hot water mixed with vinegar. Be sure to rinse thoroughly afterward to remove any residue that could be harmful to birds. It’s recommended that you disinfect your feeder at least once every two weeks during peak feeding season.

In addition to regularly disinfecting your feeder, it’s important to wipe down any surfaces where bird droppings accumulate. This includes not just the surface around the base of the feeder but also nearby trees and bushes where birds perch before coming in for food. By removing these potential sources of contamination, you’ll reduce the likelihood of unwanted visitors like black birds showing up at your feeders.

When selecting cleaning solutions for your feeder, choose ones that are safe for both humans and birds alike. Avoid using harsh chemicals or detergents as they can cause irritation if ingested by birds. Instead opt for natural products such as baking soda or mild dish soap which won’t harm our feathered friends.

By following these simple steps for keeping your birdfeeder clean and disinfected, you’ll enjoy seeing a wider variety of beautiful songbirds frequenting your backyard oasis instead of pesky blackbirds who are attracted by unclean conditions surrounding their feeding stations. In order to maintain success with deterring pest species such as blackbirds monitoring and adjusting strategies should become part of your routine.

Monitoring And Adjusting Your Strategies As Needed

Now that you have implemented key strategies to keep black birds away from your bird feeder, it’s important to monitor and adjust these techniques as necessary. This is because every environment is different, and what works for one may not work for another. Without periodic evaluation, you risk losing the effectiveness of your approach over time.

Creating boundaries around your bird feeder can be an effective way to deter unwanted visitors. Consider using netting or placing obstacles like branches or poles near the feeding station. These boundaries will make it more difficult for larger birds to access the food and discourage them from returning in the future.

In addition to creating physical barriers, seeking expert advice can also be beneficial. Consulting with a local ornithologist or wildlife specialist can provide valuable insight into which specific species are causing problems and how best to address them. They may suggest alternative types of feeders or even changes to landscaping that could reduce bird activity in the area.

Remember that keeping black birds away from your bird feeder requires ongoing effort and attention. Be prepared to try new approaches and adapt as needed. With persistence and dedication, you can create a peaceful space for all feathered friends to enjoy without fear of unwanted guests disrupting their mealtime.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are Some Common Mistakes People Make When Trying To Keep Black Birds Away From Bird Feeders?

As a bird feeder expert, I’ve seen many people make common mistakes when it comes to keeping black birds away. One mistake is relying solely on traditional bird seed as the main food source in their feeders. Black birds are notorious for flocking towards bird seed, so consider using alternative foods like suet or mealworms instead. Another mistake is not having a well-designed DIY bird feeder that keeps the food contained and out of reach from larger birds. A good design can also include barriers such as wire mesh to deter any unwanted visitors. Remember, prevention is key when it comes to keeping your feeder free from pesky black birds!

Are There Any Specific Types Of Reflective Tape Or Wind Chimes That Work Better Than Others?

As a bird feeder expert, I can tell you that the effectiveness of reflective tape and wind chimes varies depending on the type. When it comes to reflective tape, holographic or iridescent options tend to work better than plain silver ones. As for wind chimes, those with multiple metal tubes or bells tend to be more effective in deterring black birds. It’s important to note that these methods may not completely eliminate the presence of black birds at your feeder, but they can certainly help reduce their numbers.

How Long Does It Typically Take For Black Birds To Learn To Avoid A Certain Feeder Or Location?

When it comes to dealing with pesky black birds at your bird feeder, training techniques and repellent options are crucial. In my experience as a bird feeder expert, it typically takes about two weeks for the birds to learn to avoid a certain location or feeder. During this time, you can try using different types of reflective tape or wind chimes as deterrents. Another effective option is purchasing a squirrel-proof feeder that also works well for deterring larger birds like crows and grackles. Just remember to be patient during the training process and keep experimenting with various tactics until you find what works best for your situation.

Can Providing Alternative Food Sources Actually Attract More Black Birds To The Area?

Attracting birds to your yard can be a joyous experience, but it’s important to consider feeder placement. As an expert on bird feeders, I’ve found that providing alternative food sources may seem like a good idea, but it can actually attract more black birds to the area. You see, these clever creatures are quick learners and will remember where they have previously found food. So while you might think you’re diversifying your offerings for all species of birds, in reality, you could unintentionally create a hotspot for unwanted guests. It’s all about finding the right balance between attracting desirable species and keeping pesky ones at bay.

What Should I Do If My Strategies Aren’t Working And The Black Birds Are Still Dominating The Feeder?

If your strategies for keeping black birds away from your bird feeder aren’t working, there are a few more things you can try. Using decoys, such as owls or hawks, can sometimes deter black birds from approaching the feeder. Noise machines that emit sounds of predators or distress calls may also be effective. Installing barriers around the feeder, like cages or baffles, can make it harder for larger birds to access the food. Additionally, using deterrents like shiny objects or pepper spray can discourage them from returning. If all else fails, consider changing the location of the feeder to an area with less foot traffic or where other types of birds are predominant. Remember to always clean up any spilled seed and rotate different types of feed in order to keep pests at bay.


In conclusion, keeping black birds away from your bird feeder can be a challenging task. However, with the right strategies and persistence, it is possible to enjoy watching other species of birds feed without interruption.

Remember that reflective tape or wind chimes alone may not work effectively in deterring black birds. It’s important to understand their behavior and implement multiple tactics such as changing the location of your feeder or providing alternative food sources for them.

As an expert on bird feeding, I encourage you to keep experimenting until you find what works best for you. Don’t get discouraged if one strategy doesn’t work immediately – black birds are smart and adaptable creatures. Keep trying different techniques and have patience. With dedication and effort, you’ll be able to create a peaceful environment where all types of feathered friends can thrive!

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