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.
This past winter brought a small flock of House Sparrows to my yard. This spring brought a little group of Eastern Bluebirds. House Sparrows compete with bluebirds for nest cavities. They kill bluebirds (eggs, nestlings and adults) in the nest and then build their own nest on top of them. So these non-native sparrows need to go.
You can find all my attempts to get these sparrows to move on in my “Deterring House Sparrows” post. But read on if you’d like more information on one my experiments: a DIY anti-sparrow bird feeder halo. This halo was inspired by the “Magic Halo” that folks at the University of Nebraska devised. If you poke around online, you’ll find lots of people have made their own versions of this device. This is how I made mine.