🐦 Wild Bird Watchers Bulletin: July Edition

The Common Grackle has been the talk of the week at the The Preferred Perch! These dominant birds can wreak havoc at feeding stations by bullying out favourite birds like Black-capped chickadees and American goldfinches, literally eating every last seed in the feeders. Unfortunately switching foods isn’t a solution because they eat everything!

To conquer these backyard bullies, using a caged feeder is the answer. If you already have a Tube Feeder, these cages easily fit over most types so you can continue to use your existing feeder. You can also purchase this item as a unit where it all comes together and includes a weather dome too. This cage system only allows small birds to access the feeder so all large size birds are deterred.

Say goodbye to grackles and hello to beautiful songbirds!

Using a cage feeder and filling it with shelled sunflower seeds can really increase your goldfinch numbers, they love these feeders as they are not bothered by any other birds. There are also domed feeders that have an adjustable dome to allow you to decide what size birds can fit at the feeder. The Aspects Vista Dome feeder is a great example of that style.

You might see grackles hunched on the ground with their wings spread out on occasion looking as though they may be injured. They are most likely letting ants crawl all over their body. This is referred to as ‘anting’ and grackles are just one of many species who participate in this activity. Ants secrete formic acid, the chemical found in their stings. It is believed this acid rids the birds of mites or parasites. They are also renowned for popping the flowers off of marigold plants and rubbing them all over their body to also assist in parasite control.