3 Methods To Maintain GRACKLES Away From Feeders! (2022)
Are you searching for methods to forestall grackles at your chicken feeders?
If that’s the case, you aren’t alone! Many individuals wrestle with these blackbirds and attempt to discover methods to restrict the quantity of them at their feeding stations.
Personally, I don’t suppose grackles are so dangerous after they present up individually. They’re fascinating to look at and likewise very lovely with their iridescent plumage.
My greatest criticism with grackles is how they’ll present up in massive flocks and overrun feeding stations. (Press PLAY under to see my feeders below assault!)
However don’t fear, immediately’s article goes that will help you.
Under are 3 confirmed methods to assist preserve grackles away out of your feeders!
I’ve personally used all the methods to assist management these blackbirds in my yard. 🙂
#1. Use these 3 meals (which grackles DON’T eat)
A good way to maintain grackles away out of your chicken feeders is to make use of meals they don’t take pleasure in consuming.
However sadly, that’s simpler stated than completed! These generalists eat all kinds of frequent chicken seeds. Critically, when you supply sunflower seeds, peanuts, or corn, you might be asking for a complete flock of grackles to go to. 🙂
Listed below are 3 meals that grackles don’t eat (or don’t love consuming)!
A. Safflower seeds
Some individuals name safflower the miracle seed! Grackles, together with starlings, squirrels, and different blackbird species, don’t significantly look after safflower seeds. They might pattern it, however they aren’t going to gorge themselves at your feeders.
However the most effective half is that almost all different feeder birds, reminiscent of cardinals, jays, and chickadees, eat it willingly. Every time I’ve a serious invasion of grackles, instantly my feeders are stuffed with safflower seed!
B. Nyjer seeds
Nyjer seed could be very tiny and used primarily to draw finches. This seed is just too small for grackles to hassle with. As well as, the feeders used to distribute Nyjer seeds usually have tiny openings, that are too small for a grackle to suit their beak inside!
C. Nectar in my hummingbird feeder
Grackles shouldn’t hassle or attempt to eat out of your nectar feeders. For these of us who dwell in colder areas, this tip solely applies in summer time when the hummingbirds are again.
Sadly, as you’ll be able to see, the listing of meals that grackles received’t eat is minimal. So watch out together with your meals choice as a result of they are going to go loopy when you supply sunflower seeds, peanuts, corn, millet, or suet. As well as, grackles love grains, that are frequent in “low-cost” birdseed mixes.
#2. Attempt these feeders (which grackles CAN’T use)
Considered one of my favourite methods to maintain grackles away from my feeders is to make use of feeders which can be exhausting or unimaginable for them to make use of!
Sadly, the unfavourable to some of these feeders is that different birds which can be roughly the identical dimension may even have difficulties. For instance, if a grackle can’t use a feeder, then yard favorites like Northern Cardinals and Blue Jays may even have issues.
Listed below are 4 varieties of feeders that forestall grackles:
A. Caged chicken feeders
With this type, a steel cage encloses the feeder. The sq. openings are sufficiently small to maintain grackles (and squirrels) away however large enough to let most smaller songbirds by way of to feed. I LOVE watching grackles grasp onto the skin of the cage and solely be capable of have a look at the scrumptious meals inside. 🙂
The caged tube feeder under is the one I take advantage of. My chickadees and goldfinches use it day by day. And since solely small birds have entry to the seed, I don’t need to refill it usually, normally solely twice per week! Nevertheless, similar-sized tube feeders that aren’t surrounded by a cage in my yard should be refilled day by day.
Audubon caged tube feeder Examine Value – Amazon
I additionally use a caged chicken feeder to guard my suet! This caged feeder is a wonderful resolution if grackles received’t depart your suet feeders alone.
Grackles are unable to suit their our bodies by way of the outer cage to get to the suet. Smaller woodpeckers, like Downy Woodpeckers, haven’t any issues becoming inside. However, sadly, bigger woodpeckers received’t be capable of get to the suet.
B. Weight delicate feeders
These kinds of feeders can usually be adjusted to shut when a certain quantity of weight is utilized. Grackles are comparatively heavy when in comparison with different yard feeder birds, so the idea is that after they land on the feeder, entry to the meals will shut. However smaller birds ought to nonetheless be capable of sit and feed.
For instance, I personal the Absolute II hopper chicken feeder under, and it’s one in every of my favourite general feeders. And it’s additionally nice at stopping squirrels. 🙂
Absolute II hopper feeder View At the moment’s Value
Let me be clear; a weight-sensitive feeder WON’T cease grackles like a caged feeder. However the hope is that you’ll decelerate a complete flock of grackles.
For instance, on the Absolute II feeder above, I could make the perches extremely delicate to weight, the place just one medium-sized chicken (like a grackle) can feed at a time. As quickly as a second grackle tries to hop on the perch, the feeder closes.
I really like this feeder as a result of solely ONE (or possibly two) grackles can eat at a time. It’s nice as a result of an entire flock of grackles can’t sit there and wipe out your entire meals in a sitting.
C. Upside-down suet feeders
I totally take pleasure in feeding suet to woodpeckers in my yard. The issue is that grackles additionally LOVE consuming suet.
A method round that is to buy a suet feeder that forces birds to cling and feed the wrong way up. Woodpeckers haven’t any drawback with this methodology, however grackles CAN’T eat like this.
Birds Selection Upside-Down Suet Feeder View $ on Amazon
My upside-down suet feeder has completed an important job stopping grackles from devouring all my suet. Lastly, I wish to warn you that it might take a while for woodpeckers to find your upside-down suet feeder. And general, they don’t prefer it as a lot as my different suet feeders, the place they don’t have to hold the wrong way up.
D. Feeders with SMALL meals ports
Okay, let’s shortly check out a grackles beak. As you’ll be able to see, it’s fairly massive!
So, to assist forestall them at our feeders, we are going to benefit from this truth. To maintain grackles away, strive utilizing chicken feeders with very small feeding ports. A feeding port is the place the meals comes out of a feeder. If it’s very small, a grackle can’t match its beak inside to get the meals!
Under are two nice examples that I personal.
A. Perky-Pet Yellow Finch Feeder
B. Features Fast-Clear Nyjer Feeder
Usually, feeders with small meals ports are marketed as “Nyjer seed feeders” since that is without doubt one of the solely meals that may match by way of the small opening. Along with Nyjer seed, it’s also possible to strive utilizing finely chopped sunflower kernels. Many instances these small items will match by way of the openings.
E. Hummingbird feeders
Hummingbird feeders are grackle-proof as a result of these birds don’t drink nectar!
Belief me; grackles will ignore your hummingbird feeders.
#3. Distract grackles by feeding them individually!
This technique runs counter-intuitive to what you would possibly suppose.
As a substitute of making an attempt to forestall grackles, we’re going to feed them as a lot meals as doable. However WE get to determine the place the feedings occur.
Right here’s what you’re going to do:
Supply MASSIVE quantities of CHEAP meals that grackles can’t resist, reminiscent of corn, positioned at the very least 15 toes away (4.5m) out of your different chicken feeders. Utilizing entire kernel corn or cracked corn is an efficient meals choice because it’s cheap, AND grackles actually like consuming it.
The hope is that the grackles will bombard your “further” feeding station, leaving your important space clear for the songbirds you really wish to see and appeal to.
This technique may also help unfold birds round your yard. I take advantage of it each winter to assist management the grackles, together with the European Starlings and Home Sparrows that present up! The image under, taken from my yard, helps show this technique!
As you’ll be able to see, my tube feeder stuffed with cracked corn is positioned behind and away from my different feeders.
How do you retain grackles away out of your chicken feeders?
Tell us which methods work greatest for you under!