About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

How to keep the crows away

What are your thoughts about deterring crows. They seem to be 'relentless' in wanting to take over the feeding area. Is safflower seed readily available at any pet store? I would assume it is far more expensive as well, as I get my large bags on sale :) Again, thank you.

Our safflower seed is about the same price as sunflower seed. It can be found in all Wild Birds Unlimited stores, and many other stores that sell wild bird food.

A lot of the cheap seed blends sold in stores other than Wild Birds Unlimited contain cheap seeds that attract crows.

The American Crows are loud and can eat a lot. However the “good” song birds might actually appreciate crows because they announce loud and clear when you fill the feeder and they will defend their territory against incoming hawks.

But if you are supporting too many crows, there are a few techniques to reducing the numbers that visit your feeders.

Keeping the crows at bay

1) Change seed: Take away cracked corn or food scraps, their favorite foods. Switch to an all safflower seed diet for a few weeks. Squirrels, blackbirds, starlings, and crows don’t like safflower. It may take awhile for the other songbirds to accept the change but it is a favorite with cardinals and chickadees. And gradually the rest of the songbirds will switch over to safflower.

2) Change your bird feeders: Replace platform or hopper feeders with tube feeders, the Squirrel Buster Plus weighted perch feeder, or the upside down suet feeder. If the birds are unable to sit and eat comfortably they will probably move on to easier feeding areas.

3) Keep larger birds away from spilled seed: Since song birds knock seed out of feeders, limit access to spilled seed by placing rocks or shrubs beneath your feeders. Smaller birds will be able to hop in and out of tiny places, unlike crows.

4) Make the area more desirable for songbirds: Lots of trees will make them feel secure, as will the presence of a constant water source. Blackbirds and Crows prefer the open fields or yards.

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