How To Keep Big Birds Away From Feeders


Bird Feeders Protection Methods That Keep Big Birds Away

Feeding birds can be a captivating hobby and a great way to attract colorful feathered friends to your yard. However, when larger birds like crows or grackles dominate bird feeders, they can easily disrupt the peaceful environment. To protect smaller birds and encourage their visits, it is necessary to keep big birds away from feeders.

One effective method is to use selective feeding practices. Some big birds are ground feeders, while smaller birds prefer perching or clinging. Placing feeders at higher elevations or providing specialized food types can help control the kind of bird traffic in your garden.

Another approach involves using wire mesh cages around the feeder to discourage access by bigger bird species.

To defend against big birds with more aggressive personalities, visual deterrents such as scarecrows or hanging shiny objects like CDs can be helpful. In addition, installing motion-activated sprinklers or strategically placing reflective tape may help keep these winged intruders at bay.

Overall, keeping big birds away requires understanding their behavior and preferences for feeding environments. Using a combination of methods tailored for different species can help ensure that your bird feeder is an attractive spot for your desired visitors, rather than unwanted pests.

Big birds may have big appetites, but they don’t have to hog all the birdseed at your feeder.

Understanding Big Birds and Feeders

Types of Big Birds Attracted to Feeders

Big birds like to visit feeders, but the types of bird varies. Here are some common types of big birds that you can expect to attract:

  • Bald eagles: These majestic birds are usually found near water sources and prefer fish as their primary food.
  • Ospreys: Another fish-loving bird, ospreys are regular visitors to wooded areas with open spaces near water.
  • Hawks: With sharp talons and keen eyesight, hawks often prey on smaller birds and mammals, making them frequent feeder visitors.
  • Owls: A nocturnal bird, owls can be elusive but will occasionally visit feeders for a nighttime snack.
  • Cranes: These taller birds enjoy wetland habitats and eat primarily insects, small rodents, and plant material.
  • Turkey vultures: Although not usually known as feeder guests, turkey vultures have been known to scavenge at backyard feeding stations.

It’s important to note that each area may have unique varieties of big birds that are attracted to feeders. Pay attention to the types of native species in your region and adjust your feeding methods accordingly.

As always, make sure your feeder is well-maintained with fresh food and clean water. Don’t forget the importance of providing a safe habitat for these magnificent creatures in your yard.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to witness these amazing creatures up close. Set up a feeder today and invite some big birds into your backyard!

Why do big birds flock to feeders? Because they’re too lazy to hunt for themselves, obviously.

Reasons Big Birds are Attracted to Feeders

Big birds tend to be attracted to feeders due to a variety of reasons. Additionally, some species of big birds may be more territorial than others and will defend their feeding territory against competing smaller birds.

Feeders offer an abundant food source for big birds, which can save them energy and time spent foraging. The feeding stations provide shelter and protection from predators, making it a safe haven for big birds. Big birds are highly attracted to seed mixtures with a high percentage of sunflower and safflower seeds.

Fruit feeders or suet cakes attract big birds like blue jays and woodpeckers, as they prefer a more protein-rich diet. The sound of other bird species using the feeder can also draw in curious big birds who come to investigate their calls.

To ensure that your feeder is suitable for big birds and meets their needs, consider placing it at an appropriate height, clear of any obstacles that may prevent them from landing or feeding comfortably. Also, keep the feeder clean and well-maintained to encourage return visits. By understanding these factors, you can create an inviting environment that attracts not only large bird species but also a diverse range of feathered residents.

If you want to keep big birds away from your feeders, just tell them there’s a vegan option down the street.

Ways to Keep Big Birds Away from Feeders

Using the Right Type of Feeders

To ensure you maintain a bird-friendly environment, it is essential to use the appropriate feeders that will attract the right birds and repel unwanted ones. Here are some pointers on how to use the best equipment:

  1. Opt for tube feeders with small feeding ports to keep away larger birds such as crows and pigeons.
  2. Hang your feeder at least six feet above ground level to deter squirrels from getting access.
  3. Use squirrel-proof or baffled feeders, which are designed with mechanisms that discourage or hinder squirrels from accessing the veranda.
  4. Select metal or tough plastic seed tubes that can withstand harsh weather and prevent damage from animal attacks.
  5. Choose mesh seed feeders if large birds frequently visit your feeder; these feeders allow smaller birds easy access while blocking out bigger ones.
  6. Invest in specialty thistle/nyjer tube feeders if you want to attract finches, siskins, and other small-billed birds.

In addition to selecting the appropriate bird feeder option, providing different types of food can also help keep unwanted pests at bay. You can rotate seeds like safflower or peanuts instead of millet seeds that many larger birds prefer.

Fun fact: In 1870s Indiana farmers place sharp nails on trees around their fields to stop starlings perching. Move the bird feeder to where your nosy neighbor can see it – nothing keeps big birds away like their constant surveillance.

Placing Feeders in Different Locations

Feeders: Suitable Locations to Deter Big Birds

Feeders are a great way to attract birds but keeping bigger birds away can be a challenge. Here are some suitable locations to place your feeders, so that you can keep the larger birds at bay.

  • Place your feeder in an open area where there is minimal cover for larger birds to hide.
  • Install feeders near windows on the second floor or higher so that it’s difficult for larger birds to fly up and access them.
  • Set up feeders close to shrubs and bushes as these act as barriers preventing bigger birds from getting too close to the feeder itself.

It’s imperative to remember that placement of bird feeders alone won’t always solve issues that come along with large birds. A bird feeder should also be designed in such a way that doesn’t allow larger birds like crows or squirrels from accessing its contents.

There was this incident where Maria had placed four new birdhouses in her garden with fruit snacks inside. Later during the day, she noticed all was empty when she saw a couple of crows sitting at their own perches staring back at her house!

If only birds were as picky about their food as my ex-boyfriend.

Providing Alternative Food Sources

As an alternative solution to keep big birds away from feeders, diversifying the food sources can be helpful. By offering various options, birds will have less incentive to rely only on your feeder. Here are some ways to provide alternative food sources:

  • Planting bird-friendly bushes and trees that produce natural fruits and berries
  • Scattering seeds and nuts on the ground for ground-feeding birds
  • Offering suet cakes or high-fat foods in cages so only smaller birds can access them
  • Hanging hummingbird feeders filled with nectar, as big birds do not typically feed on this
  • Providing a separate feeding station for larger birds away from other feeders
  • Placing a birdbath nearby to attract water-seeking birds

Additionally, planting flowers that bloom throughout the seasons can also be beneficial in attracting a diverse range of bird species. A variety of birdhouses can also be installed to invite nesting.

Pro Tip: Regularly clean all feeding stations and remove any scattered seeds or debris on the ground to discourage large bird populations.

Looks like the birds will have to find a new rave spot, because these deterrents are about to turn their party into a Hitchcock-style horror show.

Using Deterrents such as Noise and Visuals

The employment of Methods to Deter Big Birds from Feeding in the Yard

Big birds can easily frighten the smaller ones during feeding and disrupt the peaceful atmosphere of yards. Here are some methods professionals use to deter them.

  • Place decoys- Decoys that are particularly made resembling predatory birds prove to be useful. Keeping them around will intimidate other species.
  • Consider sound deterrents- Some products create loud noises when triggered, scaring off any potential intruders.
  • Visual deterrents- Using shiny objects like Mylar tape or reflective disks can significantly reduce bird infestation.

In addition, using repellents can keep them away without causing physical harm.

Pro Tip: Changing the type of food used for feeding the birds frequently gets rid of unnecessarily persistent big birds. Cleaning your bird feeder regularly is like flossing your teeth – nobody wants to do it, but ignoring it brings consequences that are for the birds.

Regular Cleaning and Maintenance of Feeders

Regular maintenance of bird feeders is vital to ensure that they remain in good condition and continue to function as intended. Neglecting the feeder can lead to unwanted problems like the accumulation of dirt, debris and wasted birdseed.

Here are some tips you can follow to keep your bird feeder in good condition:

  • Clean feeders on a regular basis
  • Use cleaning solutions
  • Remove wet or moldy seed
  • Inspect for wear and tear, repair or replace damaged parts.

Apart from regular cleaning, you can also place your feeder in an area that is not easily accessible by large birds. This reduces the chances of big birds arriving at the feeding site uninvited.

As an interesting fact, according to Audubon Society, more than 100 species of North American birds supplement their natural diets with birdseed in winter alone.

Remember folks, if all else fails, just embrace the chaos and accept that sharing your bird feeder with the local flying giants is the new norm.


Protecting your bird feeders from big birds is important for maintaining a diverse ecosystem and ensuring that smaller birds have access to food. First, consider the location of your feeders – placing them in areas that are difficult for larger birds to access can deter them from visiting. Additionally, using specialized feeders designed for smaller birds with narrow perches or seed guards can also prevent large birds from stealing food. Finally, be sure to clean up any spilled seeds or debris, as this can attract larger animals like squirrels and raccoons.

A key factor to keep in mind when implementing these strategies is the importance of consistency. Simply moving your feeder once may not be enough to dissuade larger birds from returning – it may take several attempts before they give up and find another food source. By remaining persistent and staying vigilant about protecting your feeder, you can ensure that all types of birds are able to enjoy their meals in peace.

Pro Tip: Providing alternative feeding options away from your main feeder can also help prevent larger birds from monopolizing the food supply. Consider installing multiple feeders or scattering seeds in open spaces away from the main feeding area.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I keep big birds away from my bird feeders?

There are a few simple steps you can take: first, choose a feeder that is designed to keep large birds out. You can also place your feeder in a location that is difficult for big birds to access, such as hanging it from a high branch or using a pole with a baffle. Offering food that is not as attractive to big birds, such as nyjer seed or safflower seed, is another option.

2. What are some bird feeders that are designed to keep big birds out?

There are several types of feeders that are effective at keeping large birds away, such as tube feeders with small openings, caged feeders, and weight-sensitive feeders that close when a large bird lands on them. Look for feeders specifically marketed as “squirrel-proof” or “large-bird-proof.”

3. How can I deter large birds without hurting them?

Avoid using harmful methods such as pesticides or traps. Instead, try using harmless deterrents such as reflective tape, wind chimes, or hanging shiny objects near your feeder. These can be effective at scaring off birds without causing harm.

4. What types of food should I avoid if I don’t want big birds at my feeder?

Avoid offering food that is highly attractive to big birds, such as sunflower seeds, peanuts, or cracked corn. Instead, consider offering nyjer seed, safflower seed, or other types of seed that are less appealing to large birds.

5. How can I make my bird feeder more appealing to small birds?

Choose a feeder with small openings that is designed to attract smaller birds, such as chickadees or finches. Offer food that is specifically marketed for small birds, such as nyjer seed or thistle seed. Placing your feeder in a location that is safe and sheltered can also help attract small birds.

6. What should I do if a large bird still manages to get to my feeder?

If a large bird manages to get to your feeder, consider removing the food temporarily and moving it to a new location. You can also try adjusting the feeder’s location or using different deterrents to prevent further visits from big birds.

Julian Goldie - Owner of

Julian Goldie

I'm a bird enthusiast and creator of Chipper Birds, a blog sharing my experience caring for birds. I've traveled the world bird watching and I'm committed to helping others with bird care. Contact me at [email protected] for assistance.