Deterring House Sparrows

Flock of House Sparrows on the Brush Pile
Flock of House Sparrows on the Brush Pile

For the past few weeks I’ve been on a crusade to try to get the House Sparrows that settled into our yard over the winter to move on. We’ve never had many House Sparrows in our yard because I only put out millet in the winter months for the White-Throated Sparrows and the Dark-Eyed Juncos. Each winter, I might get a couple, but they have always left once I stopped offering millet in the spring. But this year, the House Sparrow population built up gradually over the winter until now I typically see nearly twenty at a time and they’ve become a problem. If I let them stay, they will probably nest here and the numbers will climb like crazy. They need to go. This is the story of what has turned into one of my biggest bird feeding challenges.

Continue reading Deterring House Sparrows

Flocks of Birds At Your Feeders

Red-Winged Blackbirds and Common Grackle
Red-Winged Blackbirds and Common Grackle

Late winter to very early spring can be a stressful time of year for the backyard bird watcher. You put out the regular foods in the regular bird feeders for your regular birds . . . and a noisy aggressive mob of Common Grackles, Brown-Headed Cowbirds, Red-Winged Blackbirds and European Starlings show up. They take over the feeders, push the other birds out and eat a huge amount of seed. What can you do about it? Here are some options:

Continue reading Flocks of Birds At Your Feeders

Using A Squirrel Buster Standard Feeder For Dried Mealworms

Female Eastern Bluebird Getting Dried Mealworms From Feeder
Female Eastern Bluebird Getting Dried Mealworms From Feeder

I’ve offered dried mealworms in my yard for a while now, but not in a big way. I would casually toss a small handful into the nearest brush pile each morning for the Carolina Wrens who seem to love them. Because I would gather the mealworms and peanuts in the same little basket to take outside each day, inevitably a few mealworms would wind up in the platform feeder with the peanuts and the Blue Jays would often snap them up after they’d cleaned out the peanuts . . . but then the Eastern Bluebirds appeared in the yard, and I got serious about the dried mealworms!

Continue reading Using A Squirrel Buster Standard Feeder For Dried Mealworms