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Bye-Bye Blackbirds: 3 Ways to Keep These Bully Birds Away From Your Feeder

Weight-sensitive feeders like the WBU Eliminator Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder can help keep bully birds away.

By Cristina Merrill1851 Franchise Contributor
SPONSORED 11:11AM 08/21/18

Blackbirds may be the stuff of children’s nursery rhymes, fairy tales and Beatles songs, but the truth is they are backyard nuisances who gobble up the food that bird feeding enthusiasts like to offer beautiful songbirds.

Grackles, red-wings and starlings are all under the blackbird umbrella, and they tend to exhibit aggressive behaviors that many would rather not have in their backyards.

“Blackbird flocks can number in the thousands in the fall and winter,” Wild Birds Unlimited’s Chief Naturalist John Schaustsaid. “They scare off other birds and can easily clean out your bird feeders within minutes. They can also make backyard life very unpleasant for humans. Fortunately, there are ways to hamper their efforts.”

Here are three Wild Birds Unlimited products that will help keep these pests away from bird feeders - and perhaps eventually discourage them from visiting a backyard in general.

Blackbird-Foiling Feeders

The Eliminator Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder works against larger birds and even squirrels by allowing bird lovers to adjust the weight sensitivity level. Birds and other critters above a certain weight will close off access to the food ports. The Eliminator Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder holds up to three and a half quarts of seed.

There’s also the EcoClean Dinner Bell Feeder, which has a large, adjustable dome that hovers over a smaller bird food tray, allowing smaller birds to access the food while keeping away larger birds. The clear dome allows birds to see the food while also protecting it from the elements. Antimicrobial product protection is built into the tray, which holds up to one quart of food.

OnGuard Cages

OnGuard Cages can cover a variety of bird feeders offered at Wild Birds Unlimited, including cylinder feeders, tube feeders and suet feeders, as well as the EcoClean Dinner Bell Feeder. The size of the openings prevent blackbirds and other larger birds from being able to go through and access the food at the center while allowing smaller birds such as finches and chickadees through.

“The distance between the cage and the food in the center also prevents blackbirds from reaching in and accessing that food,” Schaust said.

Safflower. All the safflower.

Blackbirds typically aren’t fans of safflower seeds, which are more likely to attract House Finches, woodpeckers, nuthatches and chickadees.

“The bill of a starling, for example, is made to gape open, so they have a tough time cracking open the hard shell of a safflower seed,” Schaust said. “Your best bet is to introduce this particular food gradually. Start by mixing it in with what you already offer, and then slowly weed out that food until your backyard birds only eat safflower.”

Safflower seeds can be offered in hopper, platform and tube feeders. Wild Birds Unlimited offers safflower seeds and products that will all but ensure an end to blackbird-related woes. Wild Birds Unlimited sells both five-pound and 20-pound bags of safflower seeds.

With locations throughout the U.S. and Canada, Wild Birds Unlimited is the original and largest franchise system of backyard bird feeding and nature specialty stores. Recently ranked No. 2 overall and No. 1 in the Retail category on Franchise Business Review’s prestigious 2018 Franchisee Satisfaction Awards, there's no better time to join the Wild Birds Unlimited team. Click here to learn more.

*This brand is a paid partner of 1851 Franchise. For more information on paid partnerships please click here.