How To Keep Blackbirds Out Of My Bird Feeder

Last Updated on September 12, 2023 by Susan Levitt

Blackbirds are known for their bold and confident nature, which can make them a frequent visitor to bird feeders. While these birds may be enjoyable to watch from afar, they can quickly become a nuisance when they begin taking over the feeder and scaring off other species. Fortunately, there are several effective methods that can keep blackbirds away from your feeder while still allowing other feathered friends to enjoy a snack.

As an ornithologist passionate about wildlife conservation, I understand the importance of finding ways to coexist with all types of birds in our environment. By implementing some simple strategies, you can help ensure that both blackbirds and other bird species have access to food sources without causing any harm or disturbance. Whether it’s adjusting the type of seed you offer or using physical barriers to deter certain birds, there are many options available for keeping your feeder free from unwanted guests.

Understanding The Behavior Of Blackbirds

Blackbirds are a common sight in many gardens and backyards. Known for their striking black plumage, these birds can be both fascinating and frustrating to bird lovers who want to attract other species to their feeders. To effectively keep blackbirds out of your bird feeder, it’s important to understand their roosting habits and feeding preferences.

During the winter months, blackbirds form large flocks and roost together at night. They prefer sheltered locations such as trees or hedges where they can stay protected from harsh weather conditions. During the day, they venture out in search of food, which includes insects, fruits, seeds, and grains. Blackbirds have been known to eat almost anything that is available.

When it comes to bird feeders, blackbirds tend to favor larger seed mixes containing sunflower seeds, corn kernels, and peanuts. They also enjoy suet blocks and mealworms. However, if there is no suitable food source readily available nearby, they may resort to raiding other types of feeders intended for smaller birds.

To discourage blackbirds from taking over your feeder altogether, it is recommended that you choose the right type of feeder that will make it difficult for them to access the food within.

Choosing The Right Type Of Feeder

Understanding the behavior of blackbirds is crucial in keeping them away from your bird feeder. Blackbirds are known for their aggressive nature and will not hesitate to take over a feeding station if given the opportunity. They prefer ground-feeding, which makes it easy for them to access scattered seeds on the ground. However, they can also go up to hanging feeders.

Choosing the right type of feeder can make all the difference in deterring blackbirds. Hanging feeders that are high off the ground and have a weight-sensitive perch can prevent larger birds like blackbirds from accessing the food inside. On the other hand, squirrel proof feeders with an adjustable spring mechanism provide maximum protection against both squirrels and blackbirds while offering ample space for smaller songbirds to dine.

Hanging vs Ground Feeders:

  1. Hanging feeders attract small birds such as finches and chickadees.
  2. Ground feeders tend to attract larger birds like blackbirds.
  3. Squirrels often target both types of feeders but can be deterred by certain designs.

Squirrel Proof Feeders:

  1. Squirrel-proof feeders come in different styles including tube, hopper, and suet cage designs.
  2. The adjustable spring mechanism ensures only lightweight creatures get access to the food.
  3. These devices usually feature metal or sturdy plastic construction making them durable enough to withstand harsh weather conditions.

Offering alternative food sources such as planting berry bushes or fruit trees provides natural sustenance for wild birds including blackbirds without having to compete with other species at a feeder station. By providing these resources, you encourage biodiversity in your backyard habitat while minimizing conflicts among different kinds of birds seeking nourishment in one place. Remember that understanding bird behavior is key when creating a healthy environment for wildlife!

Offering Alternative Food Sources

As much as we love seeing birds in our gardens, it can be frustrating when blackbirds and other larger species dominate the bird feeders. Fortunately, there are several ways to keep them away from your feeder without harming them.

One great method is by planting shrubs that produce berries or fruits such as holly, elderberry, and dogwood. These plants provide an alternative food source for the birds, keeping them satisfied and less likely to bother with your feeder. Additionally, these shrubs also attract a wide variety of songbirds and other wildlife.

Another option is to offer suet feeders filled with high-energy foods like peanut butter and seeds. Suet provides an excellent source of nutrition for different types of birds that do not typically visit seed feeders. This will help draw the attention of the blackbirds elsewhere while still providing nourishment for smaller bird species.

By offering alternative food sources like planting shrubs or using suet feeders, you’re helping maintain a healthy balance in your garden’s ecosystem while enjoying the beauty of nature. In addition to deterring blackbirds from dominating your feeders, you’ll have more opportunities to observe a diverse range of feathered friends.

Now that you’ve learned about alternative food sources for birds let’s move on to another step – using physical barriers – which is equally effective in keeping pesky blackbirds out of your beloved birdfeeders.

Using Physical Barriers

Offering alternative food sources can be a great way to keep blackbirds away from your bird feeder. By providing them with other options, you may be able to prevent them from going after the seed in your feeder altogether. Try setting up a separate feeding station for ground-feeding birds like blackbirds and fill it with mealworms or fruit, which they love.

If DIY solutions aren’t working for you, consider investing in commercial options that are designed specifically to deter blackbirds. One such option is a caged feeder, which has wire mesh surrounding the feeding area, preventing larger birds like blackbirds from accessing it while still allowing smaller songbirds to feed freely. You could also try using a squirrel-proof or weight-sensitive feeder that will close off access when a heavier bird lands on it.

Using physical barriers around your bird feeder can also be effective at keeping blackbirds out. This includes installing netting over the top of your feeder or hanging strips of shiny material around the perimeter of the feeding area. These visual deterrents can help discourage blackbirds from approaching and landing on your feeder.

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Another solution worth considering is adjusting feeding times. Blackbirds tend to feed earlier in the morning and later in the afternoon than many other species of birds, so changing when you put out seed could make all the difference in deterring them. Instead of filling up your feeder first thing in the morning, wait until mid-morning once most blackbirds have already fed elsewhere. Similarly, avoid refilling your feeder late in the day when more blackbirds may be looking for an easy meal before settling down for the night.

By offering alternative food sources, using physical barriers and timing feedings appropriately, you can effectively keep pesky blackbirds out of your birdfeeder without negatively impacting other backyard birds who rely on it as well.

Adjusting Feeding Times

Did you know that blackbirds are one of the most common types of birds found in North America? They are also known for their aggressive feeding habits, often overtaking smaller birds at bird feeders. If you’re struggling to keep blackbirds out of your bird feeder, adjusting feeding times may be a solution.

Feeder placement is important when it comes to deterring blackbirds from hogging all the food. Try moving your feeder away from trees or bushes where they can perch and wait for an opportunity to swoop in. Instead, opt for an open area where there’s less cover available. You can also consider using a squirrel-proof cage around your feeder as this will make it more difficult for blackbirds to access.

Bird feeding habits change throughout the day, so adjusting feeding times could help reduce competition between different species of birds. Blackbirds tend to be early-morning feeders, so try putting out fresh seed later in the morning instead. This way, other birds such as finches and chickadees will have had time to eat before the blackbirds arrive.

Creating a distraction is another effective method of keeping blackbirds at bay. Consider placing a separate feeder filled with seeds they prefer elsewhere in your yard. By doing this, you’ll provide them with an alternative source of food while allowing other species access to your primary feeder without any interference. Remembering these tips should help improve diversity among backyard birds and promote healthy relationships amongst various species!

Creating A Distraction

Plants can be a great way to distract blackbirds from your bird feeder, as they provide a natural habitat for other birds to feed in. Hanging objects around the bird feeder is another effective distraction, as the movement of these objects can be enough to deter blackbirds. Additionally, the colors and reflection of certain materials can also act as a deterrent. Finally, it’s important to remember that blackbirds are smart, so any distraction you use should be rotated regularly to keep them away from your feeder.


Plants can be a great distraction for blackbirds and other birds that tend to flock around bird feeders. Not only do they add beauty to your garden, but they also provide additional food sources for these feathered friends. The benefits of plants cannot be overstated as they offer shelter, nesting spots, and places where birds can perch while keeping an eye on their surroundings.

When it comes to choosing the best plants for attracting birds, there are several options available. Native trees such as oaks, birches, and maples attract various species of woodpeckers and warblers who love to peck at tree trunks in search of insects. Berry bushes like elderberries or raspberries attract thrushes and finches that enjoy feasting on juicy berries during summer months. Sunflowers are another popular option due to their large size which allows multiple birds to sit on them simultaneously while picking at seeds.

In addition to providing natural food sources for the birds visiting your backyard feeder, planting different types of flowers can help with pollination too. This is especially important if you want your vegetable garden to thrive! Some common flower choices include coneflowers, zinnias, marigolds, and cosmos—all easy-to-grow annuals that bloom all season long.

It’s essential to understand that creating a distraction using plants takes time and patience. You may not see results right away; however, over time, you’ll notice more activity around your yard by adding these natural elements into your landscaping design. Remember always to choose native plant species whenever possible as non-native varieties often disrupt local ecosystems rather than benefitting them.

Hanging Objects

Now that we have discussed the importance of using plants to distract birds from your feeders let’s move on to another effective method: hanging objects. Decorative deterrents can be an excellent way to divert a bird’s attention and keep them away from your bird feeder. DIY solutions are also available, making it easy for homeowners to create their own budget-friendly options.

Hanging reflective objects such as CDs or mirrors can work wonders in distracting birds. When sunlight hits these surfaces, they reflect light and create bright flashes which scare off birds looking for food sources. Other popular hanging items include wind chimes and pinwheels, which not only provide visual stimulation but also offer auditory cues that deter birds from approaching the area.

When choosing decorative deterrents, it is important to consider the specific type of bird you want to deter. Some species may be more sensitive to certain colors or shapes than others. For example, hawks and other predatory birds will avoid areas with owl decoys since owls are natural predators of smaller birds. However, some songbirds may actually be attracted by brightly colored objects like blue ribbons or streamers.

In conclusion, creating a distraction using hanging objects is another viable option for keeping birds away from your feeders if used correctly. It is essential to do research on different types of deterrents before implementing them into your backyard landscaping design. Remember always to prioritize safety and use environmentally friendly methods whenever possible!

Seeking Professional Help

As a wildlife conservationist or ornithologist, my first recommendation for keeping blackbirds out of your bird feeder would be to explore DIY solutions. These cost-effective alternatives can surprisingly be effective in deterring these birds from accessing the food source. Some popular methods include hanging strips of aluminum foil around the feeder, using mesh netting over the feeding area, and placing plastic snakes near the feeder.

However, if you have tried various DIY techniques without success, it may be time to consider seeking professional help. This option might come with an additional cost but could provide long-term benefits that outweigh any financial burden. Professionals like pest control services or bird specialists can assess your situation and offer customized solutions based on their expertise.

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Before deciding whether to go for a DIY solution or hire a professional service provider, one must weigh both options’ pros and cons carefully. The main benefit of opting for DIY is its affordability since most materials are readily available at home improvement stores. However, keep in mind that while some methods may work well initially, they may not provide lasting results against persistent birds such as blackbirds.

On the other hand, hiring professionals means entrusting experts who possess knowledge about specific bird species’ habits and behavior patterns. Additionally, professionals use specialized equipment and humane measures that guarantee safe removal of unwanted birds without harming them physically. Ultimately, choosing between DIY solutions and professional services depends on individual needs and preferences regarding budget constraints and desired outcomes.

Maintaining A Clean Feeding Area

As much as we love to see birds flocking around our feeders, it is equally important for us to maintain a clean feeding area. A dirty feeder can attract pests like rats and mice which can lead to the spread of diseases among birds.

Regular cleaning of your bird feeder will not only keep the surrounding clean but also ensure that the food you provide is fresh and free from contaminants. It is recommended to clean the feeding station at least once every two weeks with hot soapy water. Scrub all surfaces thoroughly and rinse well before refilling.

Pest control measures should be taken without harming any creatures unnecessarily. Using squirrel-proof feeders or providing baffles on poles can deter squirrels from stealing seeds while keeping them safe. However, avoid using chemicals or poisons that may harm other animals in the vicinity.

In short, maintaining a spotless feeding area ensures happy and healthy birds visiting your backyard regularly. Clean surroundings reduce health risks to these beautiful creatures and promote their wellbeing, making your efforts towards conservation worthwhile.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Blackbirds Only Target Certain Types Of Bird Feeders?

Blackbirds are known for their opportunistic feeding behavior, often targeting certain types of bird feeders. However, it is important to note that this behavior can vary depending on the design of the feeder itself. As a wildlife conservationist or ornithologist, I recommend carefully selecting bird feeders with features that discourage blackbird access such as small openings and perches designed for smaller birds. Additionally, providing alternative food sources away from your main feeder can also help redirect blackbird attention and reduce competition among different species of birds. By understanding blackbird behavior and choosing appropriate bird feeder designs, we can create a more harmonious environment for all feathered friends in our backyard habitats.

Can I Use A Specific Type Of Birdseed To Deter Blackbirds?

As a wildlife conservationist, I often get asked about alternative strategies to keep blackbirds away from bird feeders. While it may be tempting to resort to certain types of birdseed preferences that deter them, such as safflower seeds or nyjer seeds, this approach is not always effective and can potentially harm other bird species who rely on these same seeds for their survival. Instead, consider modifying your feeder by using cage-style designs or placing the feeder in a more open area where predators are easily spotted. Remember that coexisting with nature involves finding creative solutions rather than forcing our will upon it.

Will Using A Bird Feeder Pole With A Baffle Keep Blackbirds Away?

Using a bird feeder pole with a baffle has shown to be an effective way of deterring certain birds from accessing the feeder. However, this method may not necessarily keep blackbirds away as they are known for their adaptability and persistence in finding food sources. As a wildlife conservationist or ornithologist, it’s important to consider alternative solutions such as modifying the feeder design or changing the placement of the feeder. It’s also crucial to understand that all bird species play an important role in the ecosystem and finding ways to coexist with them is essential for maintaining biodiversity.

Can I Use A Fake Owl Or Other Predator Decoy To Scare Blackbirds Off?

Using decoys to scare blackbirds away from your bird feeder? Effective or useless? While some may suggest using fake owls or other predator decoys as a solution, the truth is that these tactics are often ineffective in deterring blackbirds. These birds are intelligent and quickly learn to recognize and ignore fake threats. Instead of relying on decoys, consider alternative methods such as adjusting the type of feed you provide or installing a cage around your bird feeder. As wildlife conservationists or ornithologists, it’s important to find humane solutions that benefit both humans and our feathered friends.

Is It Harmful To The Blackbirds If I Try To Keep Them Away From My Bird Feeder?

It’s important to consider the impact on the ecosystem when attempting to deter blackbirds from bird feeders. While it may seem harmless, disrupting their natural feeding patterns can lead to unintended consequences down the line. Instead of trying to keep them away, providing alternative feeding options for the birds in your yard can be a more sustainable solution. Consider planting native trees and plants that produce seeds or fruits for them to eat, or adding a separate feeder specifically designed for larger birds like blackbirds. By taking a holistic approach and working with nature rather than against it, we can create a healthier environment for all species involved.


In conclusion, keeping blackbirds away from your bird feeder can be a challenging task. While certain types of feeders and seeds may deter them, using a bird feeder pole with a baffle or predator decoy may also prove effective. However, it’s important to consider the potential harm that these methods could cause to the blackbirds.

As a wildlife conservationist or ornithologist, I urge you to think carefully about how your actions impact not only the birds visiting your feeder but also their entire ecosystem. Blackbirds play an essential role in maintaining balance within our environment, and it’s crucial that we take steps to coexist peacefully with them. By finding ways to share resources rather than exclude certain species, we can create a healthier and more sustainable world for all creatures great and small.

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