How to keep blackbirds away from your bird feeder?


Want to keep blackbirds away from your backyard? Are blackbirds feeding on your bird feeder? Blackbirds are considered to be bully birds and keeping them away from bird feeders in your yard is easier than you might think. 


The best way to keep black birds away from your feeder is to use smaller feeders with smaller perches. This will not allow the blackbirds to feed and will frustrate them. Using strictly Nyjer and Safflower seeds in your feeder will work also as blackbirds hate these seeds, keep away from corn, sunflower and millet. 

Table of Contents

How to keep blackbirds away from your bird feeder?

1. Change your feeder

Changing up the type of feeder in your garden could be an easy solution for you. Blackbirds and other bully birds may find it particularly easy to feed on your current feeder and swapping for a smaller feeder could be for you. If you want to know which feeders are available, have a read of this article – different types of bird feeders.


A feeder I personally recommend is the Hopper feeder. Designed for smaller birds, it has a large area in its center that hold a large amount of seeds. It’s unlike conventional feeder due to its enclosed container.

I would personally recommend something similar to this Classic Brands Metal Hopper Feeder. The seed dispensers are versatile which allows a wide variety of seed to be used. Loading and cleaning of this feeder is particularly easy too thanks to its spring loaded top.


A screen/protective cage around your feeder can help too, this won’t allow bigger birds such as the blackbird to gain access to the seeds.

Popular solutions to blackbirds are upside-down feeders. These are designed in a way that the bird has to be upside down to feed. The vast majority of smaller will do this however the larger blackbird won’t!

2. Take a break

Blackbirds and bully birds are creatures of habit. If they find food in the same place every day they will continue to return, who can blame them? Allow your feed to deplete and leave your feeders empty for a week or two. The blackbirds may well become discouraged and assume that your garden will not be of further interest to them. In my experience this can work in the short term but they can return in the long run. Use this along with the other tips in this article for the best chance of keeping blackbird away.

3. Shorten your perches

You may already have many feeders around your yard and you don’t feel like buying new ones. One solution is to shorten the existing perches in your feeders. Typically made from plastic, you can easily cut them down to size. Shortening the perches will ensure that blackbirds can’t stand as they feed due to their size.

4. Choose the right seeds

Blackbirds Love

Blackbirds Hate

Selectively choosing feeds that blackbirds dislike is a sure way to keep them away. Using Nyjer or Safflower in hopper seeds is the best combination that you can do to fend off blackbirds! If you’re unsure about where to get these seeds, please have a read of my article on different bird feeds that are available.

Why keep black birds away from your feeder?

Black birds are aggressive in nature and intimidating for other birds. This will result in the loss of confidence for smaller song birds and will result in them scaring  the birds you desire in your yard away. Black birds, including crows travel in large numbers and therefore can empty your feeders rather quickly! 


If you’ve ever wondered why a group of crows is called a ‘murder’ it is due to their ritual after a death of a member. They will surround the body of a deceased member and work out who killed their friend. Known for being extremely clever, the ‘murder of crows’ will then band together and chase the murderer of their friend down. 

What smells can scare blackbirds away?

There are many smells that can repel blackbirds away from your yard. Garlic, Cayenne Pepper and Peppermint Oil are all known to be offensive to birds and all happen to be organic products. Follow this article to learn more about what smells keep birds away.


Alternatively, you might want to check out our list of the best bird repellents!


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About Us

We are avid bird-watchers who recently retired, allowing us more time to travel the world. Fortunately, we have managed to visit numerous countries around Europe, Asia, and America. Watching and photographing birds has been a passion for many years and we are making the most of the extra time on our hands!

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