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Suggestions on blue birds, grosbeaks and nesting robins (1 Viewer)

kakatua

New member
I am new to birding and would appreciate some suggestions to solve problems that I have been having with squirrels, house sparrows, grackles, cowbirds, and starlings at my bird feeders. Essentially at this point my yard is full of invasive birds even though in the initial days I had red breasted grosbeaks, blue jays, goldfinches, black capped chickadee, and house finches visit. A pair of robins have built their nest on the tree where I put my feeder and have been aggressively attacking the blue jays and red breasted grosbeaks away. My yard is tiny with a single tree and I cannot install a shepherd’s hook pole on the ground. Any help is sincerely appreciated!

My aim is to put out feeders and seeds that would dissuade nuisance birds and the squirrels and bring back the grosbeaks, goldfinches, and the blue jays. Here’s some information to give you a sense of the yard.

I have a decent array of feeders:
1). A nyjer seed metal mesh feeder which lies pretty much unattended;

2). A weight activated squirrel buster where I put the 60% Wagner’s fruit and nut blend and 40% safflower seeds; This model:
https://www.amazon.com/Squirrel-Bus...=1590620413&sprefix=squirrel+b,aps,212&sr=8-2

3) an empty feeder which the squirrels attack with all vengeance; This model:
https://www.amazon.com/Perky-Pet-Sq...rel+buster+bird+feeders&qid=1590620460&sr=8-5 ; and

4). a ground hopper where I was initially keeping only safflower seeds for the cardinals.


In terms of food I have:
1. Safflower seeds;
2. Nyjer seeds;
3. Wagner’s fruit and nut blend;
4. Black oil sunflower seeds which I haven't opened yet;
4) Kaytee's mealworm cake which I have stopped putting out because the squirrels steal it away without giving the birds a chance to eat; and
5. Peanuts which, again, I stopped putting out because of the squirrels.

Initially I was using only the Wagner’s fruit and nut blend but the house sparrows would devour the entire feeder within hours. Now I use the 60-40 Wagner and safflower blend instead. Yesterday morning I put the blend out for the first time in the Squirrel Buster bird feeder. While there were fewer house sparrows, the ones that arrived made a total mess by pecking and discarding the safflower seeds out of the feeder and selectively eating the Wagner's fruit and nut blend. This meant that most of the feeder was empty by evening and there is a huge stash of uneaten safflower seeds on the ground. The tube feeder's feeding openings are large enough for the sparrows to insert their heads and dig through. I am using this feeder because it is a squirrel buster and has worked well in dissuading the squirrels so far from eating the seeds. I would like to keep it as the 'main' feeder where the non-invasive birds such as the cardinals, chickadees, red breasted grosbeaks can feed.

Mid-afternoon, hoping to gain back control, I scattered some millet on the ground to distract the sparrows from the main feeder. It worked for a while but they returned back and continued spilling the safflower seeds.

I’d really appreciate if someone could recommend what would be the best way to utilize the feeders and the seeds that I have to keep the invasive birds (house sparrows, grackles, starling) away and handle the robin vs. blue jay fights. Then there’s the squirrels, temporary at bay with the new feeder.

1. Would you suggest keeping a separate hopper feeder filled only with millets for the sparrows? I'm not sure if that will help with keeping the flock of sparrows away from the yard. They finish off the seeds at an alarmingly fast speed.

2. I had been keeping a corn on the cob out for the squirrels (as a way of distraction) which would provide momentary respite. But I stopped doing so because they would steal the corn and nevertheless come back to attack the feeder and birds. Should I completely stop putting out the corn for them? The squirrel buster has worked so far.

3. How to bring the blue jays back given that the robins attack them the moment they arrive in the yard?

4. How to bring the red breasted grosbeaks back. They love the black oil sunflower seeds but I have been advised not to put that out just yet.
 

KC Foggin

Super Moderator
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
United States
Hi there and a warm welcome to you from those of us on staff here at BirdForum :t:

I'm moving your thread to the Birds & Birding section of the Forum as Ruffled Feathers is more for comical and other non nature posts.

I am subscribing you to this thread so that you will get an email notice when someone posts a suggestion or thoughts on your post.
 

kakatua

New member
Hi there and a warm welcome to you from those of us on staff here at BirdForum :t:

I'm moving your thread to the Birds & Birding section of the Forum as Ruffled Feathers is more for comical and other non nature posts.

I am subscribing you to this thread so that you will get an email notice when someone posts a suggestion or thoughts on your post.

Ok! Thank you. I hope to receive some suggestions and help from more advanced birders on this forum.
 

markalias

Member
You are on your way, kakatua!

I wouldn't worry about the nuisance birds. There's no way to keep them segregated, and they need food, too. It's just a matter of keeping them off the feeders you want to keep them off of.

Squirrels are a different story. You will fight them forever.

I've been through all that you mentioned. I ended up with squirrel-proof feeders such as

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0123L9OKK

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000FKGHZW/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title

https://www.amazon.com/Stokes-Select-38069-Squirrel-Capacity/dp/B003NTGXF6/ref=sr_1_1

And nijer feeders and a platform feeder on a pole with squirrel baffles that squirrels can't climb or jump onto. When I fill up the platform feeder, the "nuisance" birds show up and it's fun to watch them try to dominate the feeder.

Blue Jays are happy to swoop in, but I've never seen Robins dominate Blue Jays. Mourning Doves dominate both. Grackles dominate most other birds. Starlings and blackbirds are tough, but not as tough as Mourning Doves or Grackles. Finches, chickadees, nuthatches, titmice, sparrows, all get what they can from the platform, but the other feeders give them more than the bigger birds can get. Red Bellied Woodpeckers are tough, too, and can hold off the others while they eat from the platform feeder.

How to bring the red breasted grosbeaks back. They love the black oil sunflower seeds but I have been advised not to put that out just yet.

Not sure who advised you of that, but many of the birds you're talking about like black oil sunflower seeds, including grosbeaks. You should probably always have some of those out. I keep mine in the Droll Yankees Whipper, and when the bigger birds get desperate they do land on those, but not so much that they dominate the feeders.

Nice to see someone just starting out. :)
 

Leviticus Plews

Well-known member
You are on your way, kakatua!

I wouldn't worry about the nuisance birds. There's no way to keep them segregated, and they need food, too.
Yeah. Rats need food. Cockroaches need food. House Sparrows and Starlings are rats and cockroaches. (In the USA anyway, I understand that they are appreciated in Europe.)
 

Leviticus Plews

Well-known member
I am new to birding and would appreciate some suggestions to solve problems that I have been having with squirrels, house sparrows, grackles, cowbirds, and starlings at my bird feeders....

Hi Kakatua - your location is listed as midwest, and I assume that's midwest USA - anyway I hope so; birds that are considered a nuisance in the US are not always considered so elsewhere, so my comments apply to US only.
House Sparrows and Starlings are the only birds that are a nuisance to me, I can deal with the others. For these though, check out this facebook page for suggestions.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/620115275001288/
 

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