How can I bring back the bluejays and red breasted grosbeaks back?
May 28, 2020 at 10:19 am #9409
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:
3) an empty feeder which the squirrels attack with all vengeance; This model:
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. Someone on this forum suggested that 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.
June 16, 2020 at 11:17 am #9602
It depends where you live. city or rural.
I believe red breasted grosebeaks are migratory and you have to enjoy them while they are visiting. We have 5 large style feeders in our front yard and 4 in the back yard. plus suet feeders also. we exclusively fill our feeders with black oil sunflowers. we keep them full year round. we found there was less waste by just using sunflower seeds. the birds will shuffle through the seed and drop seeds for ground feeders.
we feed nuthatches. gold finch, house finch, blue jays, cardinals, woodpeckers, robins, chickadees.
if you have a chain length fence or wooden fence you can hang feeders by shepherd’s hook we place ours sorta high and fasten with fittings that secure them in place around the fence post. then you can get a baffle that deters squirrels. dome towards feeder. or those feeders that shut off the feed.
There really is no best way to keep squirrels away. They are busy trying to break the code and don’t leave the feed outside in anything they will chew through the lid. we had a heavy duty container for chlorine they chewed right through. we have a dog that loves to chase them off.
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