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Old 11-19-2013, 08:04 PM   #1
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bluebirdhappiness bird feeding eliminate house sparrows and blackbirds

There are several threads about house sparrows but I decided to start a new one. When I saw equil this summer she mentioned some great bird feeding tips to control the non natives. One thing I had never thought of. She mentioned putting the cheap birdseed out in the open away from the regular bird feeders. The non native birds that like that seed will be easy targets for hawks. I put safflower seed and grey striped sunflower seed in my regular feeders. House sparrows and black birds don't like those seeds. I also hang my suet so the birds have to eat upside down to discourage non native birds.
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Old 11-19-2013, 08:26 PM   #2
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Blackbirds...like grackles and red winged blackbirds are native birds. Redwings are a favorite of mine.

I put out pretty much only black oil sunflower seeds to keep undesirables away...I rarely see house sparrows or European starlings...and on the rare occasions they do stop at my feeding stations, they never seem to stay.
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Old 11-19-2013, 09:38 PM   #3
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I like Red Winged Blackbirds, and don't begrudge them the seed they eat. Its the company they keep I don't like. Starlings, cow birds, and grackles. Boat Tailed Grackles I do like, but the purple grackle is a thug and a bully all year round. I have two nyger seed feeders, two squirrel proof seed feeders and a platform feeder for the birds who don't use the other feeders. I buy bags of nyger seed, black oil sunflower seed, white millet seed, saff flower seed, and a bag of what I call "trash feed" for the platform feeder and throwing on the grown. I don't buy anything that has corn kernels or peanuts in it, so as not to encourage the squirrels. I haven't found any method that discourages the house sparrows that doesn't involve killing them. Just think, house sparrows, pigeons, and starlings didn't get here on their own, they were willfully imported the same as mute swans.l

Last edited by Arey; 11-19-2013 at 09:41 PM. Reason: To add the editoralizing last sentence.
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Old 11-19-2013, 11:12 PM   #4
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Red winged black birds are nice. Even though grackles are native I agree with arey. They are bullies. They chase all the other birds away. A friend of mine said house sparrows like farms. I have so many house sparrows. They love black oil sunflower seed. I put only a small amount out each day in a tube feeder. The house sparrows like to eat in flocks. They still come in large numbers to eat those few black oil seeds. I wont buy any more of it. I talked with my neighbor about feeding the house sparrows. She said I like all birds. I have had titmice chickadees house finches and bluejays lately. I put out nyjer seed but the birds don't eat it much. There are times when goldfinches hang around and they eat a lot of the nyjer seed. They don't stick around though.
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Old 11-20-2013, 07:33 PM   #5
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I use mixes from Wildbirds Inc, and especially like their winter blend with extra fruit and suet balls that my woodpeckers go crazy for. I never have house sparrows at my feeders, or any significant number of non-native birds, maybe because I am so far out in the woods. I scatter millet for the juncos in the winter (they aren't here the rest of the year). Squirrels are my major feeder stealers, and they will eat anything I put out so I put the cheap stuff in my rail feeder for them and keep the good stuff for the squirrel-proof feeders. I do have a red-tailed hawk who has taken up stalking my front yard feeders in the past few months.

So I have my juncos already, but none of my other winter birds - I usually get pine warblers, yellow rumpled warblers, pine siskins, and red breasted nuthatches when the weather cools. How about you other southerners? Have your winter birds arrived yet?
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Old 11-20-2013, 07:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arey View Post
Just think, house sparrows, pigeons, and starlings didn't get here on their own, they were willfully imported the same as mute swans.l
Exactly...so, even though I may have issues with cowbirds, they belong here, so I am pretty tolerant...although, I must admit I rarely see them--just one or two last year.

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Originally Posted by EllenW View Post
Even though grackles are native I agree with arey. They are bullies. They chase all the other birds away.
I usually only see them early spring. I'm trying to remember if other birds were there when I had a small flock of grackles (a couple redwing black birds and boat tailed grackle or two among them).

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Originally Posted by EllenW View Post
A friend of mine said house sparrows like farms. I have so many house sparrows. They love black oil sunflower seed. The house sparrows like to eat in flocks. They still come in large numbers to eat those few black oil seeds. I wont buy any more of it.
Strange....I think of them as being city birds.....and luckily, I've seen very few around here over the past five years. I did attribute that to the farmland around us and that they find black oil sunflower seed unappealing, but now I'm not sure.
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Old 11-20-2013, 08:13 PM   #7
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Pine siskins are real bullies, too. Last year I had dozens of them and they did their best not to let any other birds eat.
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Old 11-21-2013, 05:29 PM   #8
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My friend buys the seed with the fruit in it. The birds do like it. I had a lot of squirrels in the spring. When I moved the feeders to the front of the house they disappeared. The squirrels were tipping the hummingbird feeder and drinking until I moved it where they couldn't get it. One day recently I had a flock of juncos but they didn't stay. I have red bellied and downy woodpeckers. I love the red bellies. I have white throated sparrows. No nuthatches or siskins yet.. the siskins do like to travel in large groups but I haven't found them to be aggressive. The mourning doves disappeared when I moved the feeders also. I saw one today.

Last edited by EllenW; 11-21-2013 at 05:31 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 11-21-2013, 06:26 PM   #9
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Feeders spread disease among songbirds at high rate. Google page
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Old 11-21-2013, 07:03 PM   #10
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Feeders spread disease among songbirds at high rate. Google page
I read an article a couple of years ago, that made me question whether or not we should be feeding birds. I've still not stopped, but I am always trying to move where I feed them. I think I have to really think more about the risks to the birds. I must admit that winter months will seem much longer without having birds around.
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