While we certainly do not like to discriminate against any bird species, there comes a time when watching your feed get devoured by flocks of hungry birds grows tiresome.  For those of us that enjoy sharing our seed with all the native and visiting bird species to us here in Ottawa, sometimes we just need to find ways to more effectively spread the love.

Of those devouring and sometimes problematic birds, we are speaking of common grackles, starlings, and pigeons.  The population of either type of these birds is somewhat dependent on your location, but for the most part, they are very familiar to most of us.


As anyone with any serious bird watching and feeding experience could tell you, these birds travel in packs.  As such, they can remove much of the seed located in your feeder within a matter of minutes.  The good news is, there are a few ways to deal with these types of problem birds if you so choose.

Adjust Your Feeding Times

This is perhaps the very best way to deter grackles and starlings from raiding your food sources.  These types of birds travel in packs, particularly in the morning as they search for reliable food sources.  If your feeder ends up on their hit list first thing in the morning, there is a very good chance there will not be much left when lunchtime rolls around.

We will bring our feeders in at nighttime and not set them out until the late afternoon the following day.  With daylight running until around 9 p.m. in our neck of the woods during this time of year, that is still plenty of time for our favourite songbirds to have an opportunity at a snack.

Dust Off the Finch Feeders

If you don’t have a finch feeder yet, you should.  In addition to being easy to clean and attracting many finch species, the feeding ports are too large to support a feeding grackle or similar-sized bird.  In addition to that, they are not terribly big fans of the nyjer seed or finch blend of seed typically being offered in these types of feeders.



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