Dealing with Squirrels, Blackbirds, Doves and Pigeons
Sometimes you just have too many squirrels blackbirds, doves and pigeons. They can eat more than their share of food and chase other birds away. However, you can be a seasonally savvy hobbyist by anticipating the arrival of your problem birds or critters and implementing the following solutions to keep these birds from monopolizing your feeders.
The Right Food
We offer a variety of foods to help you deal with nuisance visitors at your feeders.
- Feed black oil sunflower seeds in the shell or the larger, harder-shelled striped sunflower seed. Both are difficult for sparrows and starlings to open.
- Instead of sunflower seed, offer only safflower seed. Squirrels and Starlings do not seem to like this seed and usually leave it alone.
- Offer high quality blends in tube feeders and consider removing the feeder's perches. Small birds can land on the seed ports just fine, while larger birds can hang on to the port for only a short time and thus eat less food.
- Offer only pure rendered suet cakes as European Starlings often ignore them. Starlings are attracted to the other ingredients (like peanuts) in suet-blend cakes more than just plain suet.
- Don't offer foods containing cracked corn and millet that are favorites of House Sparrows, European Starlings, Rock Pigeons, grackles and blackbirds.
- New Hot Pepper foods are now available in suet, seed, cylinders and cakes to keep your squirrels out of the feeders. Squirrels, like us, feel the heat while our feathered friends do not.
Deter larger birds from visiting your existing feeder by adding an On-Guard™ wire mesh cage. Our On-Guard solutions are designed to allow smaller birds access but prevent doves, pigeons, even blackbirds from reaching the food in a feeder. We offer a variety of cages that easily fit on our seed tube, finch, peanut, suet and some of our specialty feeders.
We offer a variety of feeders that help you feed only the birds you want.
- EcoTough® Upside-down Suet Feeder - This feeder is designed to allow birds to feed from below, a comfortable practice for woodpeckers, nuthatches, chickadees and other clinging birds but difficult for starlings.
- Dinner Bell™ feeder - Use this versatile feeder to offer a number of different foods. The Dinner Bell's adjustable dome can be raised and lowered to allow access for smaller birds.
- The Eliminator™ and Fundamentals Squirrel-proof feeders. Both of these feeders are weight-sensitive and will close off access to the food when heavier visitors, such as pigeons and most doves, sit on a perch.