How do I feed Blackbirds, but not pigeons and starlings and magpies

 

HERE IS A QUESTION FROM A READER.  PLEASE READ  AND SEE IF YOU CAN HELP HER.  SHE IS TAKING SO MUCH TIME TO FEED OUR SMALLER GARDEN BIRDS, BUT NEEDS SOME HELP AND ADVICE.   IF YOU CAN GIVE HERE ANY ADVICE YOU MAY BE SAVING A BIRD’S LIFE.  WOULDN’T THAT BE THE BEST THING YOU HAVE DONE TODAY

 

I’ve enjoyed reading everyones comments. I love watching the birds feed from my kitchen window and have several hanging feeders with fat balls, seeds (as well as ‘no grow’ mix) peanuts and sunflower hearts and a ground feeder that I put mealworms, suet pellets, grated cheese and songbird mix in and a guardian table (the small birds don’t seem to be very keen on it but the bigger birds are able to stick their heads in and eat all the food) which I fill with similar and a tube suet feeder.

This is all on my small patio!

I attract blue tits, cold tits, dunnocks, and sparrows and I have a robin that appears now and again, 2 pairs of blackbirds, a couple of thrushes, a pair of collared doves and two pairs of wood pigeons that live in a large conifer in a neighbours garden as well as around 12 starlings and also for the first time this year, a magpie (which isn’t common to this area) which has put in an appearance a few times.

My problem is that the pigeons and starlings (and magpie when it appears) snaffle all the food on the ground (especially the suet pellets) and also try hanging from the other feeders! I want to stop the starlings and pigeons stealing all the food and will often go outside to scare these birds away when the small birds aren’t feeding, but still want to cater for the blackbirds and thrushes but don’t really know what to do as the starlings are slightly smaller than the blackbirds so a large mesh guardian doesn’t seem to be the answer.

I’ve noted that some of the comments about feeding the blackbirds have mentioned putting food under bushes and the like but living in a town, the place is full of rats so I also have to put down poison making sure that it is covered enough so the birds don’t eat it. Has anyone any ideas as it’s costing me a fortune in suet pellets especially. Thank you

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HERE IS MY REPLY BUT I WOULD LOVE IT IF ANYONE HAS ANY OTHER IDEAS

I know what you mean.  It is nigh impossible to  to feed blackbirds but not starlings.  You can easily feed the smaller birds by putting the food in a wire mesh ground feeder.

One of the things I have done is get some chicken wire that comes in a roll.  I make a circle with the wire and use garden canes again to keep the wire upright.  I throw the food inside this meshed ‘safe haven’ bird feeder.  The wire mesh is big enough to let blackbirds, thrushes  and the smaller garden birds in.  The pigeons, magpies, crows cannot get into this circle so they walk about outside looking in and looking very annoyed.  It can be so amusing.

Here is a link to an article about another way to keep larger birds off bird food.  You may not be able to do this – and it does look strange.  It means you have to put garden canes round a bird table. The larger birds such as rooks, crows, pigeons cannot fly / balance to get onto the bird table.  Blackbirds and smaller birds can.  Unfortunately it means that starlings can get onto the bird table

http://birdtablenews.com/2009/07/keeping-pigeons-away-from-bird-tables/

Thank you for getting in touch.  I have not had an internet connection for ages, because of the storms.  Here’s hoping that things are sorted now, but I don’t think so as I know there is another fault on the line

One thought on “How do I feed Blackbirds, but not pigeons and starlings and magpies

  1. veronica hil

    I too hang bird seed balls from a container and the sparrows and the two blue tits that come rarely, its all sparrows, can hang off it, however, I have noticed a blackbird and robin but they can’t hang and I would like to fee them but have 2 magpies living close by, pigeons and seagulls and do not want to encourage these larger birds on my balcony due to the mess plus after living in London 20 years I hate pigeons! So not sure about the mesh thing mentioned above, would need to see a diagram – anyone else have any thoughts – thanks.

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