Common Grackles and European Starlings can be a nuisance on suet feeders, especially in late winter and spring. Since I’ve switched to using upside-down suet feeders, they usually don’t cause too much of a problem. But sometimes grackles can still get a little crazy. They can’t hang from feeders for long, but if there is a little flock of them, they can take turns. Lots of little bits of time dangling on a feeder can add up and they are aggressive toward other birds. But I have a trick to keep nuisance birds off suet on poles!
Sometimes a feeder works great right out of the box. But sometimes you need to make adjustments. I use Erva’s Starling Proof Mealworm Feeder to offer dried mealworms to Eastern Bluebirds and Carolina Wrens. I like this bluebird feeder very much, but I think it is designed for live mealworms rather than dried. You might not think that would make a difference but it does. I needed to make a change to use Erva’s mealworm feeder with dried mealworms. (Don’t worry, it’s easy.)
How do you make your yard’s bird feeders a success with a wide variety of birds? If you’ve got more than one or two feeders, and have the space, consider spreading them out! I find that too many feeders right on top of each other, each appealing to different types of birds, creates congestion. This increases conflict as species and personal spaces overlap.
This doesn’t mean that each individual feeder has to be its own remote island. Think about about feeder types and which birds are likely to visit each feeder. Then cluster the feeders that make sense to be near each other. Leave space in between the clusters to allow various species to eat relatively peacefully at the same time.