PROTECTING BIRDS

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Deterring Aggressive Birds

Large, aggressive and greedy, there are some birds you may not want at your bird feeders. Grackles, pigeons, starlings and house sparrows are just a few. There are several ways, however, to deter these un-neighborly birds.

Use feeders designed for smaller birds, such as tube feeders or feeders with short perches. You can also purchase feeders that don't have perches. One benefit to not using a perch is that it helps to discourage many of the larger birds, such as Crows, Grackles, Starlings, Mourning Doves, Blue Jays, etc. from overwhelming your feeder.

In addition, look for feeders that are surrounded by a metal cage. Small birds can fly inside the cage to feed while larger birds cannot. Also, look for feeders that do not have an attached seed tray so larger birds will not have a place to perch.

Try an Upside Down feeder, which has the feeding holes below the perches, instead of above. Most birds cannot feed upside down, so this type of feeder provides safety for those that can - like the goldfinch.

Hummingbirds can be especially territorial and aggressive birds. A dominate male can overpower a single feeder defending his food supply. Try a feeder that has large plastic flowers disguising each feeding port. These may block the dominant hummingbird's view of other birds. Another solution is to place several feeders in different parts of your yard.

If your unwelcome guest is actually a predatory bird, such as a hawk, that threatens harm to others, understand that this is a part of nature. However, you can take down your birdfeeders for a few days, until the predatory bird realizes there will be no meal and moves on.

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