They're BIG, they're NOISY and they can arrive by the HUNDREDS to our backyards this time of year!
...scaring all other birds away and eating everything in our feeders! We're talking about Common Grackles!
Common Grackles are migratory birds that winter just south of us and breed throughout New England and north into Canada. Customers seem especially happy when they depart in the fall, but not so happy when they return in early spring. There's probably not a day in March that we're not asked how to keep Grackles away from feeders. Luckily there are solutions!
Squirrel-proof feeders: Squirrel-proof feeders that shut down, cutting off access to food when a grey squirrel lands on them can also be set to shut down when a large bird such as a Grackle land on them.
Mesh cages: The same cages used to keep squirrels off of feeders will keep Grackles off as well.
Adjustable domes: Tray feeders with adjustable domes not only keep rain and snow off food, but if lowered to an inch or two from the tray keep large birds like Grackles off. They simply can't fit!
Upside down suet feeders: Woodpeckers and Nuthatches easily eat while hanging upside down. Grackles may be able to hang upside down briefly and get in a few bites of your suet, but they can't hang on for long...they're just not built for eating upside down!
Tube feeders: Tube feeders have small perches and small food openings. Grackles are too large to perch on them and their beaks are too large to eat from them.
Safflower seed: Fill your feeders with safflower, most birds love it! Grackles, European Starlings, Red-wing Blackbirds and squirrels do not!
Want to keep Grackles off your feeders, but feel kind of guilty not feeding them? No worries, just give them their own feeder! Put a tray feeder out on the ground and fill it with cracked corn...yum! Grackles love corn! Squirrels like it, too.
Do you want to learn more? Come by the store and speak to one of our sales associates!