How To Keep Blackbirds Away From My Bird Feeders

Last Updated on September 12, 2023 by Susan Levitt

Are you tired of watching blackbirds devour all the birdseed in your feeders? As an avian expert, I understand how frustrating it can be to attract unwanted birds while trying to cater to your feathered friends. Blackbirds are notorious for their large appetites and aggressive behavior, making them a common nuisance at bird feeding stations.

But fear not! There are several effective ways to keep blackbirds away from your bird feeders without harming them or other desirable species. In this article, we’ll explore some simple strategies that will help you deter blackbirds and create a more welcoming environment for other backyard birds. Let’s get started!

Understanding Blackbird Behavior

Blackbirds are a common sight in many parts of the world. They migrate to different areas depending on the time of year, and their feeding habits can vary as well.

During blackbird migration, these birds may stop at bird feeders for a quick meal before continuing on their journey. However, once they establish a feeding pattern, it can be difficult to discourage them from returning repeatedly.

Blackbirds are known for being aggressive and territorial when it comes to food sources. They will often chase away smaller birds or consume all the available food themselves. This behavior can make it challenging to attract other species to your feeder.

Understanding blackbird behavior is crucial if you want to keep them away from your bird feeders. By learning about their feeding patterns and preferences, you can take steps to create an environment that discourages them from visiting while still attracting other bird species. In the next section, we will discuss how choosing the right type of bird feeder can help achieve this goal.

Choosing The Right Type Of Bird Feeder

When it comes to bird feeders, the materials and feeding port designs play a crucial role in attracting specific bird species while keeping blackbirds at bay. For instance, tube-style feeders with small perches are suitable for finches and chickadees but not for larger birds like crows or grackles. The latter can easily overcome any obstacle to access food, including clinging upside down on feeder poles.

Another factor to consider is the type of seed you offer. Blackbirds tend to favor sunflower seeds, so avoiding this type of seed can help deter them from your feeder. Instead, opt for smaller seeds that attract other desirable songbirds such as nyjer or millet.

You may also want to invest in specialized feeders designed for specific bird species. These include suet cages for woodpeckers and blue jays or nectar feeders for hummingbirds. By providing these birds with their preferred foods, you increase the likelihood of seeing more diverse birdlife in your backyard.

By choosing the right type of feeder and offering appropriate types of food, you can attract a variety of beautiful songbirds without inviting unwanted visitors like blackbirds. In the next section, we will discuss how adjusting the placement of your feeders can further enhance your backyard birdwatching experience.

Adjusting The Placement Of Your Feeders

I recommend placing your feeders away from trees so blackbirds can’t hide in the foliage and swoop down to steal seed. Additionally, keeping them away from structures like rooftops or buildings can keep starlings and grackles from perching nearby, reducing the amount of competition for resources. I suggest a distance of at least six feet from any trees or structures for the best results. Finally, keep in mind that feeders should be mounted securely and be kept clean to keep all birds safe and healthy.

Placement Away From Trees

One effective way to keep blackbirds away from your bird feeders is by placing them away from trees. Blackbirds are highly skilled at navigating through branches and foliage, making it easy for them to reach the feeder without much effort.

When determining the height of your bird feeder, consider raising it high enough so that there are no nearby tree branches or structures that could serve as a launching pad for blackbirds. This will make it more difficult for them to access the feeder and discourage their presence.

In addition to height, location also plays an important role in deterring blackbirds. Placing your feeder in an open area where they have little cover to hide behind will make it less appealing for them to visit. Consider moving it farther away from trees or bushes where they may be perching.

By taking these steps, you can adjust the placement of your bird feeders to effectively deter blackbirds and attract other species instead. Remember, creating a welcoming environment for birds requires careful consideration of their habits and behaviors.

Placement Away From Structures

Now that we’ve discussed the importance of placing bird feeders away from trees, let’s move on to another crucial factor in attracting and deterring certain species: placement away from structures. One common problem when it comes to feeder placement is inadvertently creating an easy access point for predators or unwanted birds by hanging them too close to a building or other structure.

To avoid this issue, experts advise placing your feeder at least ten feet away from any structures such as fences, walls, or buildings. This distance allows enough space for birds to fly safely to and from the feeder without risking contact with nearby structures where predators may be lurking.

In addition to safety concerns, natural landscaping can also play a role in attracting songbirds while keeping blackbirds at bay. By incorporating native plants and shrubs around your feeding area, you create a more welcoming environment for desirable species like finches and chickadees while making it less appealing for larger birds like blackbirds who prefer open spaces.

Overall, adjusting the placement of your feeders requires careful consideration of various factors including height, location, and surrounding landscape. By taking these steps and being mindful of the habits and behaviors of different bird species, you can help create a safe and inviting space for feathered friends while minimizing unwelcome visitors.

Using Physical Deterrents

One effective method to keep blackbirds away from bird feeders is by using physical deterrents. Fake owls are a popular choice for many bird enthusiasts as they mimic the presence of predators in the area. These decoys can be found at most garden centers or online shops, and should be strategically placed near your feeder to discourage blackbird activity.

See also  What Animal Lay Eggs And Is Not A Bird

Netting is another option that can help prevent unwanted visitors from accessing your bird food. It’s important to use netting that has small enough holes so birds cannot get caught or tangled in it. This will also allow smaller birds like finches and sparrows access to the feeder while keeping out larger species like blackbirds.

It’s worth noting that some birds may become accustomed to these physical deterrents over time, so it’s recommended to switch up their placement periodically. Additionally, if you notice any damage or wear on either fake owls or netting, replace them promptly to maintain their effectiveness.

Overall, incorporating physical deterrents such as fake owls and netting into your efforts to keep blackbirds away from bird feeders can greatly reduce their presence. However, there are still other methods you can try such as visual deterrents which we’ll discuss next.

Trying Visual Deterrents

The blackbirds are relentless creatures, and they will stop at nothing to get their beaks on your bird feeders. If you have tried every trick in the book to keep them away without success, then it’s time for a more drastic approach.

One effective method is using colorful decoys that mimic predators of blackbirds such as owls or hawks. These fake birds can scare off the real ones by creating an illusion of danger in the area. You can move these decoys around occasionally to make them look more realistic and less predictable.

Another option is setting up scarecrow replicas near your bird feeder station. Scarecrows are commonly used in gardens to frighten birds from crops but can also work well in this scenario too. The sight of something resembling a human figure may deter blackbirds from approaching altogether.

It’s important to note that visual deterrents only work if they seem authentic enough to fool the birds into believing there is a threat nearby. Keep rotating between different types of decoys and changing their positions regularly so that blackbirds don’t become accustomed to them.

Using visual deterrents effectively requires effort and consistency, but it can be worth it in the long run when it comes to keeping pesky blackbirds away from your feathered friends’ feeding area.

For an added layer of protection against blackbird invasions, consider implementing sound deterrents alongside visual ones.

Using Sound Deterrents

Blackbirds can be a nuisance to bird feeders as they often chase away other birds and consume large amounts of seed. One effective way to deter blackbirds is through the use of sound deterrents. Blackbirds are sensitive to certain frequencies, which can cause them discomfort or alarm.

Sound frequency is an important factor in deterring blackbirds. High-pitched sounds, such as those produced by ultrasonic devices, may work well for some species but are generally ineffective against blackbirds. Instead, low-frequency sounds like distress calls or predator noises have been found to be more successful at deterring these birds.

It’s also worth noting that natural predators play a significant role in reducing blackbird populations around bird feeders. Simply placing decoys of hawks or owls near your feeder area might discourage blackbirds from visiting altogether. However, this method must be used with caution since it could potentially attract real predators to your yard.

If you’re interested in using sound deterrents but aren’t sure where to start, here are four options:

  1. Play recorded distress calls – These can often be found online or purchased at specialty stores.
  2. Install motion-activated devices that emit predator noises – This ensures that the noise only occurs when a bird approaches the feeder.
  3. Hang wind chimes – The clanging metal creates enough noise to make the area less appealing to blackbirds.
  4. Use scare balloons – These brightly colored balloons feature eyespots that mimic those of predatory animals.

Incorporating one or more of these methods should help keep blackbirds away from your bird feeders without causing any harm to the birds themselves. If none of these techniques prove effective, you may need to consider adjusting your feeding schedule instead.

Changing Your Feeding Schedule

Now that we’ve discussed using sound deterrents, let’s talk about changing your feeding schedule to keep blackbirds away from your bird feeders. Feeding frequency and food type are two factors that can make a big difference in deterring blackbirds.

Firstly, it’s important to consider how often you’re putting out food for your birds. If you have multiple feeders or put out large amounts of seed at once, this may be attracting more blackbirds than desired. Instead, try reducing the amount of food you provide each day and spreading it out over several feedings throughout the day. This will help discourage blackbirds from monopolizing the feeder.

Secondly, take a look at the types of food you’re offering. Blackbirds tend to favor certain foods such as sunflower seeds and mealworms. Try switching up your offerings by adding less desirable foods like safflower seeds or millet. You could also consider offering specialized blends designed to attract specific species of birds while deterring others.

It’s worth noting that some bird enthusiasts enjoy hosting a variety of bird species in their yard, including blackbirds. However, if you find that they’re causing too much trouble with other birds or making a mess around your feeder area, these changes can help reduce their presence without resorting to drastic measures.

By adjusting your feeding frequency and food type, you can create an environment that is less attractive to blackbirds while still maintaining a healthy population of other desirable bird species in your backyard sanctuary.

Hosting More Desirable Bird Species

One effective way to prevent blackbirds from monopolizing your bird feeders is by attracting more desirable bird species. By providing an environment that suits the needs of songbirds, you can encourage them to visit your yard and dine on the food offered at your bird feeders.

Creating a bird-friendly landscape is key in attracting these beautiful creatures. Planting native trees, shrubs, and flowers will provide natural shelter for birds while also supplying them with food sources such as insects, fruits, and seeds. Incorporating different layers of vegetation – from ground covers to tall trees – will create a diverse habitat that appeals to a variety of species.

See also  Is A Raven A Bird Of Prey

Another aspect to consider when hosting songbirds is the type of feeder used. Certain types of feeders are more attractive to specific species than others. For example, tube-shaped feeders filled with nyjer seed are popular among finches like goldfinches and siskins. Platform or tray feeders placed low to the ground may attract sparrows and juncos.

Finally, it’s important to keep in mind that birds need water as well as food. Providing a source of clean water for drinking and bathing will make your yard even more appealing to songbirds. A simple birdbath or shallow dish with fresh water changed regularly will suffice.

  • Consider installing nesting boxes or houses for specific songbird species.
  • Offer varied types of feeding stations such as nectar feeders for hummingbirds.
  • Avoid using pesticides or other chemicals harmful to birds in your landscaping practices.
  • Provide ample cover and protection from predators through plantings and strategically placed perches.

By implementing these tactics, you can transform your backyard into a haven for songbirds while simultaneously deterring unwanted visitors like blackbirds. Not only will this add beauty and interest to your outdoor space, but it also plays an important role in maintaining healthy populations of various bird species within our ecosystem.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Blackbirds Pose Any Danger To Other Birds Or Animals In My Yard?

As an avian expert, I can tell you that blackbirds are notorious for their aggressive behavior towards other birds and wildlife in the area. Their territorial nature often leads to conflicts with smaller species, including chickadees and sparrows. The impact of their behavior on other wildlife cannot be overstated – it disrupts the delicate balance of the ecosystem by creating a hostile environment for many creatures. It is crucial to take steps to prevent these behaviors from occurring around your property, as they can have long-lasting effects on the overall health of the local environment.

Can I Use Any Type Of Physical Deterrent To Keep Blackbirds Away From My Bird Feeders?

Physical deterrents can be effective in altering blackbird behavior around bird feeders. However, it’s important to understand the root cause of their attraction to the area first. Blackbirds are opportunistic eaters and will consume a wide variety of foods including seeds, fruits, insects, and small animals. If they have discovered a consistent source of food at your bird feeder, it may take more than just a physical barrier to deter them. Consider changing the type of seed or food you offer, limiting the amount available for each feeding session, or even relocating your feeder altogether. When using physical deterrents such as netting or cages, ensure that they do not pose any danger to other birds or wildlife in the area.

Is There A Specific Type Of Visual Deterrent That Is More Effective Than Others?

Visual deterrent effectiveness is a key factor in deterring blackbirds from your bird feeders. It’s important to understand the behavior patterns of these birds, as they are highly intelligent and adaptive creatures. Some visual deterrents may work for a short period of time, but if they become accustomed to them, they will quickly lose their effectiveness. One effective method is rotating different types of visual deterrents on a regular basis to keep them guessing. Additionally, using specific colors or shapes that blackbirds find threatening or unappealing can also be effective. Remember to always monitor the situation and adjust your approach accordingly to maintain optimal results.

How Often Should I Change My Feeding Schedule To Discourage Blackbirds From Visiting My Feeders?

Feeding frequency is a crucial factor in managing blackbird behavior around bird feeders. It is important to establish a consistent feeding routine and stick to it as much as possible. Changing the schedule too frequently can confuse birds and attract unwanted visitors, including blackbirds. To discourage them from visiting your feeders, try reducing the amount of food offered or spacing out feeding times. However, it’s also essential to keep in mind that blackbirds are intelligent and adaptable creatures, so varying the timing and location of feeders may be necessary for long-term success in deterring them.

Is There A Way To Attract More Desirable Bird Species To My Yard Without Encouraging Blackbirds To Visit?

Bird friendly plants and predator decoys can be integral in attracting a diverse range of avian species to your yard. By incorporating these elements into your outdoor space, you create an environment that is welcoming and safe for a variety of feathered friends. Bird friendly plants provide natural sources of food and shelter, while predator decoys offer protection from unwanted visitors. It’s important to remember that when enticing desirable birds to your yard, it may also attract other less desirable species such as blackbirds. As a bird behavior specialist, I recommend finding a balance between creating a hospitable environment for all birds while also taking measures to keep certain species at bay.


In conclusion, keeping blackbirds away from your bird feeders can be a challenge, but there are several effective methods to try. Physical deterrents like cages or netting can prevent larger birds from accessing the feeders while still allowing smaller birds access. Visual deterrents like shiny objects and scarecrows have also been successful in discouraging blackbirds.

One example of this is a homeowner who was struggling with blackbirds dominating their feeder. They added some mesh wire around the base of the feeder which allowed only small birds to enter and exit through the gaps, effectively blocking out larger birds such as blackbirds. This simple solution allowed for more diverse species of birds to visit their feeder without being dominated by one particular species.

As an avian expert, I recommend monitoring your feeding schedule and adjusting it frequently to discourage unwanted visitors like blackbirds. Try offering different types of food that attract specific bird species instead of general seed mixes that tend to attract all kinds of birds. With patience and persistence, you can create a welcoming environment for desirable bird species while minimizing visits from less desirable ones.

Leave a Reply