Grackles invade our feeders

What can be done to deter the Grackles and Starlings at our feeders? They are invading our feeders and scare the little song birds away.

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There are a number of feeder types designed specifically to exclude large birds like grackles, jays, and starlings. They may still feed on the ground under the feeder, but they can’t “drain” a feeder as they would otherwise.

Switching to something like safflower seeds may also help. Starlings and grackles don’t like it as much.

If you have multiple feeders, it can help to spread them out rather than having all the feeders in the same spot. That way if a flock of grackles comes to one feeder, smaller birds can still feed at the others.

Lastly, I am a big advocate of native-plant gardening to feed birds over supplemental feeding. Supplemental feeding should be just that, supplemental. Here is an article with more information: Feed the Birds with Native Plants. Audubon’s Native Plant Database can help you find the best plants native to your area to attract your desired species.