Because they are bigger, crows usually bullies the smaller birds – taking their food even. These pesky predators does not only scare the smaller birds during feeding time but mark their territory as well, forcing the birds to look for other feeders somewhere.
Many bird enthusiasts have been struggling on deterring bully birds from feasting on the expensive birdseeds intended, of course, for birds. The frustrating scenes of bully birds like crows make one think of radical ways on how to keep crows away from bird feeders intended for pretty songbirds, in their backyard.
Controlling these species becomes a big business including installing costly feeder baffles, which may not work for bigger birds. They will just have to fly through the feeder and pillage the seeds in minutes.
Remember that these hungry birds will never go away on their own. So here are creative ways to keep the crows away from bird feeders without putting up a lot of fight.
Table of Contents
1. Frustrate them too!
Yes, you read it right – it is vengeance time. Customize your first bird feeder for smaller species only. The bird beak is in accordance to its size so big birds naturally have larger beaks that birds that you wish to feed such as mockingbirds.
Creating an opening that is just enough for smaller birds to access the seeds, about 2-inch opening, will lock out bully crows. You can also do this by enclosing it with a large-mesh of chicken wire. The main idea is to frustrate crows from entering.
2. Use a feeder pole
Putting your feeder on a pole means it can only take in a specific weight. So one possible way on how to keep your crows off your bird feeder is to deter them by going against their weight.
Most crows such as the carrion crow weighs 520 g each so when a crow lands on the pole, it shakes unnecessarily because it is too heavy and the crow has no choice but to fly away. Smaller birds like the tropical mockingbird only weighs 52g. Northern mockingbird weigh is in between 47-51 kg.
Some bully birds like the raven is in between 0.69 to 2 kg. Using a rope or string is also an alternative. However, be wary of another enemy, the squirrels as they can pass through thin rope without a problem.
3. Take the corn and wheat out
What is more frustrating than having nothing to eat. Yes, that is exactly one of the ways on how to keep crows away from your bird feeder. Supplying food that smaller birds will eat but hated by bully birds is probably a foolproof solution. Crows specifically like cracked corns, berries and raisins so skipping them in your feeder will frustrate the crows and eventually fly away.
4. Selective Feeding
Another possible way to keep the crows from your bird feeder is to use one variety of seed only such as safflower seed. By doing so, it will be easier to drive away black birds as most colorful and pretty birds love safflower but not the big black bully birds.
Apparently, more seed types attract various kinds of birds so try keep using moonseed for each feeding season.
5. Feed them (far) away from the feeder
If you do not have the heart to simply drive them away, you can provide a separate set of food for the crows. Taking notice of them might change their behavior and stay away from your bird feeder.
Crows can feed on cat food so throwing some, with a little water, somewhere over the edge of your garden might just be the solution you need. The only ‘other’ problem might be the fact that sometimes, they come in droves and are naturally noisy and nasty. Other big bully birds might come to partake on the cat food fest too.
On the other hand, refusing to provide food for them will force them to go and find other food sources in other areas.
6. Clean the feeders well
There are instances when seeds fall from the feeder and onto the ground. These seeds will attract bully birds in no time. Regular cleaning of the bird feeder and its surrounding areas will also deter the possibility of transmitting bird related disease such as H5N1, usually carried by bigger birds. Protecting the smaller and cuter backyard birds is a priority.
There many other ways you can try to stop crows from coming in for your bird feeder. Discouraging poor behaviors by being seed selective to possibly scaring them off with a loud sound or snake can be implemented as temporary measures.
By nature, no single bird specie is intentionally cruel. Many are simply territorial but nothing can be more annoying that the black bird varieties. Knowing how to keep crows and other bullies from your feeder becomes a necessity. Hopefully, the tips above can help you manage the crows that are pillaging your birdseeds and pestering the smaller birds during feeding time.