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.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

What to do about too many blackbirds and squirrels

The Safflower Solution
If squirrels drive you nuts or blackbirds and starlings crowd your feeder, you might try the safflower solution.

Safflower is a small, white, bitter seed that is high in protein and fat. Many favorite backyard birds - including cardinals, chickadees, finches, doves, woodpeckers, titmice and nuthatches- savor safflower. Blackbirds, starlings, and squirrels typically refuse to eat safflower seed.
Start by offering safflower gradually, mixing it with the seed you currently use. Over time increase the amount of safflower until you are feeding straight safflower. The seed looks and tastes different from other bird seed, so it may take your birds some time to adjust.

But if you are overwhelmed by the arrival of hungry blackbird babies in late spring, switch to straight safflower seed. And remember that our spring rains, produce a favorable habitat for a lot of bugs. That is when you'll be thankful that these menacing birds eat a lot as they patrol your lawn for a variety of creepy crawlies and flying insects.  

Related Articles:
- Close-up look at the seeds wild birds eat http://bit.ly/IET0hP
- How to keep moths out of bird seed http://bit.ly/IESK2h
- How long does bird seed stay fresh? http://bit.ly/rTLSqJ
- Seed Storage Cans and WBU Seed Scoops http://bit.ly/uBaSwO
- The strange journey of the sunflower plant http://bit.ly/uFlz65