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I'm Being Robbed!

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Old Thursday 2nd May 2019, 21:38   #1
Ondine
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I'm Being Robbed!

Well, it may not be quite how it sounds. But at the beginning of the summer I was getting lots of little birds at my feeders... sparrows, gold and house finches, nuthatches, chickadees, and such.

But two blocks away from my house is a retention pond, and it's the home of a lot of red-winged blackbirds. And they have found my feeders. Between them and the grackles I hardly see any other birds at the feeders any longer.

Granted, I appreciate all birds. I like the red epaulets of the red-winged blackbirds and how the display them when another male shows up. And I like the iridescent colors and sharp yellow eyes of the grackles, but I miss my little birds. Occasionally a finch or sparrow will flit in for a quick seed, but the bigger birds soon chase them away.

Is there anything I can do to dissuade these marauders?
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Old Friday 3rd May 2019, 08:14   #2
andyadcock
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ondine View Post
Well, it may not be quite how it sounds. But at the beginning of the summer I was getting lots of little birds at my feeders... sparrows, gold and house finches, nuthatches, chickadees, and such.

But two blocks away from my house is a retention pond, and it's the home of a lot of red-winged blackbirds. And they have found my feeders. Between them and the grackles I hardly see any other birds at the feeders any longer.

Granted, I appreciate all birds. I like the red epaulets of the red-winged blackbirds and how the display them when another male shows up. And I like the iridescent colors and sharp yellow eyes of the grackles, but I miss my little birds. Occasionally a finch or sparrow will flit in for a quick seed, but the bigger birds soon chase them away.

Is there anything I can do to dissuade these marauders?
I don't think you can do much to 'deter the marauders', with bigger birds like Pigeons, you can just buy a feeder that they find it hard or impossible to land on so they will just then take the spillage.

In your case, it could be seasonal, the loss of smaller birds is something I see at out feeders in Russia when their natural food becomes more abundant in spring and summer but they usally turn up again for an easy meal when they have hungry young in tow.
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Old Friday 3rd May 2019, 13:40   #3
MeInDallas
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It might help if you do some ground feeding for them. Get you something that you can put some seed in, and put it on the ground and it will attract your larger birds. I buy those metal pans you get at the dollar store for $1 and I drill tiny holes in the bottom for drainage. Get you some of that "wild bird seed" you see at the store for cheap, and leave the pans (or whatever you find) with some seed on the ground for them. I call them my "diversion trays" because the larger birds always go to the ground to feed out of them first.

What type of feeders are you using? What type of seed?

I use the Squirrel Buster line of feeders. They are a bit expensive, but I got sick of dealing with the larger birds and squirrels. A lot of people here on the site use them, and they DO WORK if you hang them correctly.
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