5 Successful methods how to keep black birds away from feeders

Blackbirds often steal food from feeders and chase away little passerines. Therefore, it’s imperative to learn how to prevent blackbirds from visiting bird feeders. The good news is, you can follow these 5 successful methods below to successfully beat the “How to keep black birds away from feeders” question!

Why do you need to keep black birds away from bird feeders?

Blackbirds may initially seem innocent. However, you quickly learn that they are hostile, and opportunistic, and will frighten off all the birds you enjoy watching. And I know you’ll be annoyed at having to spend extra money on bird food because they empty your feeders virtually every day. There is no denying that blackbirds can be a pain due to their loud, aggressive, and insatiable appetite. The trick is to learn how to keep black birds away from feeders and you can know it after reading this guide.

How to keep black birds away from feeders?
How to keep black birds away from feeders? Source: Wild Bird Scoop

How to keep black birds away from feeders?

Here are a few effective strategies to answer the question “How to keep black birds away from bird feeders?”. These techniques might not all be effective for you but you can try one or all of them to see which one best suits your needs.

Choose the right feeder types

The feeders you already employ must be taken into account initially. I guess that your bird seed is easily accessible to the blackbirds. As a result, your yard is likely to feature a platform, tray, or ground feeder. Am I correct? If you have a blackbird problem, these feeders are not the best option.

I would advise using only feeders that smaller birds can use readily:

Upside-down feeder: The upside-down feeder allows birds to feed from below, which is ideal for woodpeckers, nuthatches, chickadees, and other clinging species but challenging for blackbirds. It is also simple to refill, clean, and hang.

Weight-activated blackbird-proof bird feeder: For this product to function, the weight of the birds must meet a certain threshold before an opening to the food is permitted. Additionally, blackbirds are too light to access this feeder.

Caged bird feeder: You can modify your feeders to permit smaller species because almost all bully birds are bigger than more desirable birds. You may also buy caged fruit/mealworm feeders, caged tray feeders, and caged tube feeders. Just be sure to pick one with the feeder piece within the cage by a few inches so bullies’ long bills can’t reach the seed.

For some aggressive birds like graces or hawks, you also need to beware and have plans to keep them away from bird feeder.

Use the safflower seed

A starling’s bill, for instance, is designed to gape open, making it difficult for them to break through the thick shell of safflower seed. Start by incorporating it into what you already provide, and then progressively eliminate that food until just safflower is left for your backyard birds to consume. 

Hopper, platform, and tube feeders can be used to distribute safflower seeds. Safflower seeds and other items are available from Wild Birds Unlimited, almost guaranteeing an end to problems with blackbirds. Safflower seeds are available from Wild Birds Unlimited in five-pound and twenty-pound quantities.

Choose the right food

The most attractive birds, including chickadees, cardinals, thrushes, and songbirds, adore safflower seeds as a source of nourishment. The best thing is that squirrels, starlings, and blackbirds deem it to be far too bitter to consume.

The fact that blackbirds have softbills is another wonderful fact. Thus, they are capable of handling seeds with a tough hull. Given this information, I would strongly advise providing a mixture of hulled safflower and black oil sunflower seeds. Switching to one of those seeds might help. Safflower seeds and sunflower seeds, especially striped sunflower seeds, both have thick, hard shells that are more challenging for blackbirds to crack.

Safflower and sunflower seeds

Put a dome on the feeder

A bird feeder filled with blackbirds and grackles is not a beautiful sight. The good news is that you can use a dome to keep the aggressive birds out of your yard. The feeder is attached to the top and has a dome that acts as a cover for it, much like an umbrella.

By utilizing a dome, you can prevent larger birds from accessing and feeding at your feeder. This technique works because only little passerines can access your feeder inside the dome. The food on your feeder can also be protected from the rain by a dome. Additionally, even when it’s raining, birds can securely feed.

Source: Duncraft

Use barriers

Preventing blackbirds from ever reaching your bird feeders is another strategy to keep them away from your feeders. You can try some cage feeders. They are large metal square grids in the shape of cages surrounding your feeder. They are available for suet feeders, platforms, and tubes. The metal squares are supposed to be big enough to keep the blackbirds out while allowing the smaller birds easy access to food.

Empty the feeder

Bully birds and blackbirds are accustomed to their routines. Who can blame them if they continue to go back if they find food in the same spot every day? Leave your feeders empty for a week or two and allow your feed supply to run low. The blackbirds can get disheartened and think they won’t be interested in your garden anymore. In my experience, this can be effective in the short term, but they may reappear over time. Use this and the other advice in this article to your advantage to keep blackbirds at bay.

What shouldn’t you do when keeping black birds away from bird feeders?

The most important thing you must remember is “don’t give black birds what they want”. The aggressive birds enjoy wheat, corn, sunflower seeds, millet, bread, and pizza crusts. Therefore, don’t put these kinds of food in your feeder. The blackbirds will undoubtedly leave and move on after visiting your feeder and failing to obtain their preferred fare.

Similarly to songbirds, blackbirds enjoy foods like strawberries, blueberries, apples, cherries, raisins, and plums. So don’t fill your feeder with fruit in the meanwhile. Once the blackbirds have left your yard, you can use fruits once more.


All of the strategies we discussed on how to keep black birds away from feeders have been demonstrated to be effective. It’s up to you whether you choose to employ one strategy or test them all. The essential point is that restricting access to your bird feeder to small birds by covering it is good. Avoid using seeds that blackbirds enjoy as food. Instead, dissuade them by exploiting their weakness in hulled seeds. Additionally, pick the proper feeder.