House Sparrows you are likely to have in your yard. The number one way to limit their numbers at the feeder is to not feed millet. Millet is their favorite seed and common in most seed blends. If you switch over to straight safflower seed you will decrease their activity at the feeders.
Safflower is a white seed savored by Cardinals, House Finches, Black-capped Chickadees, and more. Blackbirds, starlings, squirrels, and sparrows avoid safflower. When you start feeding safflower there will be a dramatic drop in the number of birds at the feeder but then different birds will appear gradually.
Also suets attract a lot of bug eating birds like chickadees, woodpeckers, and nuthatches. It’s important to buy suet without seed in it that the sparrows can pick out. Our Wild Birds Unlimited Peanut Butter Suet contains just suet and peanuts, no seed, or we have just the straight beef suet for only woodpeckers.
Sometimes sparrows avoid Nyjer thistle feeders too. Goldfinches can eat upside down comfortably and the upside down finch feeder we sell is popular for people that are overrun with sparrows or house finches. The feeding port is below the perch and the goldfinches have to hang by their toes to reach the seed.
I’ve also had a lot of luck with the Seed Cylinders. Sparrows will work to get seed from the cylinders but they take a long time to whittle it down and that gives the other birds a chance to feed also.
Finally a couple good things about sparrows: even though they eat a lot and visit in huge flocks they also eat a lot of bugs while raising their young. Any yard with sparrows won’t have problems with mosquitoes. And they also make so much noise in the fall that the migrating birds often stop in yards with a lot of sparrow activity because they know it is a safe pit stop for birds on their way south. Keep your eyes open for migrating warbles, native sparrows, flycatchers, larks and swallows.
- When House Sparrows were brought to America http://goo.gl/Py0RET
- What birds like Safflower seed? http://goo.gl/cbFrAO
- How to Attract Goldfinches http://goo.gl/xpjV1W
- Benefits of Seed Cylinders http://goo.gl/5gtq7p
- Warblers make visits http://goo.gl/8M2ZC8