Ground Feeder Mesh Size for Blackbirds

I've got hanging feeders but no ground feeders as I have a bit of a magpie and pigeon problem which means there's nothing for the blackbirds in my garden. So I had a look at some of the ground feeding cages/sanctuaries available online and one of the main negatives with the wide mesh versions (6cm x 6.5cm holes) is that young/smaller magpies can still get inside from the bottom holes and maybe a pigeon. I thought that if I used a smaller mesh size such as 50mm x 50mm chicken wire then that would stop the bigger birds while allowing blackbirds to enter; I based this assumption on bird netting guidelines i.e. 50mm keeps out pigeons and 28mm keeps out starlings, so as blackbirds are a bit bigger than starlings but significantly smaller than pigeons then 50mm would work. Also I can make a bigger "sanctuary" for half the price of a pre-made one by using standard chicken wire. It will be filled with only mealworms. Is this a good idea? I don't want the poor things to get stuck in the holes.

  • I am sure the blackbirds will hoover up anything that falls on the ground. I have several black birds in the garden and no ground feeders and they seem to do ok.  When the weather is bad and ground is way too hard for them to extract worms i do throw some sunflower hearts under the confiers for them to forage . I had tried and tested most thing to stop grey squirrels, pigeons and starlings but the only solution for me was pole feeders with guardians. Pigeons just catch fallen seeds...squirrels cant get up the pole and starlings must be getting an easy feed elsewhere.

    As you can see this blackbird has worked out how to feed from this suet stick which is hanging from the pole.

    I am sure others will be along with some suggestions soon

    (Pardon the Scottish Accent)

  • That's a dextrous blackbird you have there haha! I think my one(s) are a bit shy and don't want to try eating under my hanging feeders; I've spotted one on camera looking for a meal further back in the garden in the early morning and it didn't notice them. I currently have 3 pole feeders with guardians as you mentioned with trays to stop most of the seed falling down so that unfortunately keeps out the blackbirds but I am not entirely sure what the pigeons are "eating" because it looks invisible to my camera :P
  • In reply to gintoki_uzumaki:

    Its not the 1st one to get up there lol...I wish mines were shy..I have about 8-10 in and out the garden all day happily wandering about with the chaffis and pigeons under the feeders but then I dont have trays to stop falling seeds, I just move the poles every couple of weeks or so. The BBs also love their baths and are always in and out the ponds or bathing in a mucky puddle in the swamp part of the garden. As to what your pigeons are eating...freshair by the sounds of it lol...

    (Pardon the Scottish Accent)

  • An unfortunate update:

    The single male blackbird that was visiting my garden was caught by my cat today. The bird decided to be more brave and come right up close to the deck in search of food where unbeknownst to him my cat was hiding - he was caught in an instant. I could have prevented this by putting something out for him to eat at the back where it's safer but I didn't because I was afraid of my garden being mobbed by starlings. Gutted and ashamed of myself but now I know that I need to put food for them at the back despite the threat of other birds being attracted. I most likely will buy the large sanctuary as well for extra protection. I really hope he wasn't the only blackbird living here, more will turn up right?
  • In reply to gintoki_uzumaki:

    Oh no! These things happen. Sadly we cant pick and choose what we feed as I learned last summer when I got lots of starlings and their babies...what a noise! Thankfully I only get a couple now and this summer I wont be putting out as much food so they can go and make a racket elsewhere lol...hopefully you will have some more BBs visit you soon.

    (Pardon the Scottish Accent)

  • In reply to Linda257:

    Yes I will have to get used to the starlings although I don't mind feeding their young a bit during the summer. I'll work on keeping the areas separate to reduce the chance of them swarming (I hope)
  • In reply to gintoki_uzumaki:

    I didnt mind the starlings 50 or so adults with their 50 or so screaming wains...it was the neighbours lol..am sure you will find a healthy balance that works for you...trial and error is the key

    (Pardon the Scottish Accent)