How to keep crows and jackdaws off your bird feeders (but still let them share nicely!).

Awoken by cackles  and gleeful shrieks outside the bedroom window, I looked
out early one morning to see a dozen or more crows and jackdaws  swinging on my
bird feeders and 'drinking' the contents .  I spoke later with a neighbour who
had experienced the same problem and because of this she had eventually given up
feeding the birds altogether.  New to birding, and not one to pass up a
challenge, I scoured the internet looking for ideas to prevent them stealing all
the food before their smaller colleagues got a look in.  Squirrel proof feeders,
although successful were expensive - after buying three I decided to look for a
less costly solution.  I found one economical solution sitting on the shelf in a
local agricultural store in the guise of hanging baskets. After buying six round
bottomed baskets and a pack of cable ties, I rushed home to try out the idea.  I
tied two cable ties loosely at the top, spaced wide enough to slip the feeder
handle through.  The weight of the baskets keeps the edges together with no
gaps.  I suspended the feeder and it's cover from a tree and within seconds the
birds were demonstrating their approval.  The roundness of both baskets together
provide a roomy internal space and the wires lots of comfortable perching space
while awaiting one's turn.  An additional use I have found is that if I hang a
small feeder and a single basket onto a tree hook and place it within the hedge,
the sparrows keep their own feed for themselves, away from the beady eyes of
sparrow hawks and other flying predators.
One message that was often repeated in my internet searches was 'crows and
jackdaws etc. have to eat too', a sentiment I thoroughly agree with. We are all
satisfied now as the small birds sift through the mixed seeds looking for
their favourites and toss the rest to the ground for the crows and friends to
feast upon.

Note: baskets of different sizes accommodate most sizes of feeders.
  • In reply to doggie:

    Hi Alan

    Thanks for your reply.  I tried to upload a couple of photos without success.... have seen instructions on how to do it somewhere on the site.  Is it possible to upload related pictures retrospectively, or at a later time, to a post?

    Regards Jill

  • In reply to doggie:

    Thanks for the information and the link........  another challenge....

    Jill

  • In reply to doggie:

    It was the rich formatting tip that did the trick Alan - thank you:)

    Jill

  • In reply to doggie:

    Thank you, and the sparrows like it too......

  • In reply to Lucydot:

    Brilliant idea.  Also, if you have a bird table, making "walls" out of clematis netting keeps the big birds off - my in-laws used this method very successfully.

    Best Wishes,  Rosy

  • In reply to RosyFeathers:

    Hi Rosy

    Thank you for your reply.  I bought a bird table - after my first visit from the sparrow hawk realised I had to protect it.  You have given me the answer.  Another trip to the agricultural store........

    Regards

    Jill (alias Lucydot)

  • In reply to Lucydot:

    WOW, that is amazing...... The Magpies, Crows and Jays don't seem to be too greedy on my feeders, but I've had to adapt mine to keep the pigeons from stealing everything... I get very fed up with the continious peck, peck, peck at ANY food I put out.  Have spent quite a bit on a mix of devices to try and stop both them and the squirrels who only seem to leave once they have eaten everything, or I scare them off.  My task now will be to find a hanging basket 'nest' that has small enough gaps to deter the squirrels, although I have witnessed them physically shaking most the anti-squirrel feeders I have bought in order to 'shake out' the contents.... Thanks for the idea though, ingenious whoever 1st came up with it :-)

    Thanks, Sarah

  • In reply to Westie69:

    Hi Sarah my pigeons behave themselves and as yet the squirrels haven't discovered the new takeaway in the Forest.  I'm working towards an inexpensive squirrel deterrent for their inevitable arrival and will post it when I'm confident it could work.

    Regards Jill

  • In reply to Lucydot:

    Hi Jill,

    How funny, our bird behaviours are not the same across the Country!  I look forward to your squirrel deterrent devices.  They really are a menace in my garden, and not considered cute one little bit.  Every single tub is attacked with them burying nuts and almost killing several plants/shrubs with their digging!  As for pigeons, we also put loads of netting on the allotment to help protect cabbages etc from the pigeons, who literally strip them down to the ground.  So, because I also worry about the little birds getting caught in the nets, I use shiny foil and upturned plastic bottles on bamboo canes to put them off.

    Thanks, Sarah