Large mixed “blackbird” flocks are the bane of backyard birdwatchers in late winter and early spring. Appearing in mass, groups of Common Grackles, European Starlings, Brown-Headed Cowbirds and Red-Winged Blackbirds can take over feeders and push other birds out. But this year, for many reasons, the blackbird flocks are not as much of a problem in my yard. Some of this is because of things I’ve done to set up my feeders and some is beyond my control.
What birds can you expect to see in a Maryland backyard? While every property is different with its own mix of birds, many are pretty typical. These are the Maryland backyard birds commonly seen in our central yard.
How do you get rid of a flock of nuisance “blackbirds”? Late winter to very early spring can be a stressful time of year for the backyard bird watcher. You put out the regular foods in the regular bird feeders for your regular birds . . . and a noisy aggressive mob of mixed “blackbirds” show up. These flocks can take over feeders, push other birds out and eat huge amounts of seed. What can you do about blackbirds overrunning your feeders? Here are six strategies to get rid of annoying blackbird flocks of starlings, grackles, cowbirds and blackbirds that arrive in late winter and early spring.