Getting Rid of Blackbirds


Blackbird perching on branch


Pesky blackbirds are eating all my bird seed!

"Last year, I purchased several bird feeders for my mother to enjoy.  For most of the year, she enjoyed watching cardinals and other beautiful wild birds.  Then the black birds discovered her feeders.  Now, we can't keep the bird feeders full because of the black birds and we haven't seen any of the other wild birds we enjoyed last year.  How can we get rid of the black birds?  Is there a specific food that they won't eat but the other wild birds enjoy?   ...Charlie H."

"I've been back yard feeding for 3 years.  I have wild mixed, sunflower, thistle, and suet.  My problem is BLACKBIRDS!  They come in and eat everything [except the thistle], until it is gone.  These are not the red-winged blackbird.  They are plain without any markings.  The great variety of birds I have hardly get a chance.  And it is costly to.  I am constantly filling my feeders. Do you have any suggestions on what I can do?   ... Larry N."

Blackbirds, Grackles and Starlings can empty a bird feeder in no time flat! There are a few things you can try to make them eat less or go away.

1. Place a variety of feeders in your yard, including "thistle" feeders and suet feeders.

2. Put a cage or screen around your seed feeders so only smaller birds can get to the food. Build your own using chicken wire or buy one of the commercial bird feeders made especially to solve this problem.  CLICK HERE to view Caged Bird Feeders

3. Use a Hopper type feeder with a weighted perch that closes when a heavy bird (or squirrel) lands on it.

4. Keep bird seed off the ground and stop filling your platform feeder for a week. Blackbirds and Starlings may get discouraged and move on.

5. Shorten the perches on your tube feeders. The smaller birds (Goldfinches, Chickadees and Titmice) will be able to eat but larger birds will not be able to land.

6. If Starlings are eating all your suet, try a feeder that required the birds to hang upside down. Woodpeckers can eat like that, but Starlings hate it.

7. Never buy seed mixes containing milo. Blackbirds are the only birds that seem to like milo! Blackbirds also like millet and cracked corn, but few of the colorful songbirds eat these seeds. Try using safflower seed instead of sunflower seed in your tube feeders. Do not mix this seed with anything else. Use it straight. Grackles and starlings will normally not eat this; yet, cardinals, finches, chickadees, titmice and jays readily eat it. We have also seen wrens, downy woodpeckers and nuthatches eating this seed at feeders.

8. Learn to appreciate Blackbirds. All black birds are not the same! What exactly is coming to your feeder? Can you identify a female Red-winged Blackbird? Here are some of the "Blackbirds" found in the U.S. and Canada:

European Starling
Common Grackle (Interior & Coastal form)
Boat-tailed Grackle
Great-tailed grackle
Red-winged Blackbird
Tri-colored Blackbird
Yellow-headed Blackbird
Rusty Blackbird
Brewer's Blackbird
Brown-headed Cowbird
Shiny Cowbird
Bronzed Cowbird

Tip:  Consider deterring problematic birds in your yard with ultrasonic technology. The following products repel problem birds such as starlings, grackles, crows, sparrows, pigeons and others in small areas up to 900 sq ft, or larger areas up 1 acre:

BirdX Balcony Guard Ultrasonic Bird Repeller (up to 900 sqt ft) CLICK HERE for details!

BirdXPeller Pro Electronic Sonic Bird Repeller (1 acre coverage) CLICK HERE for details!

Bird-B-Gone Bird Chase SuperSonic Bird Repeller (1 acre coverage) CLICK HERE for details!