how to attract birds other than sparrows

Tips for feeding birds without feeding House Sparrows

Provide suet without embedded seeds. The majority of birds that consume suet, such as woodpeckers, jays, chickadees, and nuthatches, are more drawn to the suet than the seeds. House Sparrows, however, favor the seeds. Most House Sparrows will be deterred if you use suet with embedded seeds if you use “upside-down feeders,” which only let birds in from the bottom. Bill stated, “I did see one House Sparrow clinging to it, but sparrows are just not built for hanging upside down, so the sparrow dropped off in a few seconds and has not returned,” following the switch to this kind of suet feeder. ”.

Try preformed seed shapes.

It appears that house sparrows dislike seeds offered in rigid, prefabricated forms, like bells or cylinders. Perhaps the seeds are too difficult to remove. When using a seed cylinder, cover it with an old CD disc to keep larger birds from perching close to the top and pecking down, which would cause the cylinder to shatter.

Use nyjer-seed feeders to attract finches. Small finches that have perches and ports too small for House Sparrows will visit nyjer-seed feeders, such as American Goldfinches, Common Redpolls, and Pine Siskins. House Sparrows can perch and try to feed, but it is awkward because of their larger bills and bodies. In order to attract a few more small species, like chickadees, crushed sunflower chips can occasionally be added to these feeders; however, in cold, wet weather, the chips may clump and block the ports.

Protect sunflower seed feeders with a halo baffle.

Researchers from the University of Nebraska found that House Sparrows could be deterred without endangering other species by using the same hanging wires that are used to keep gulls away from reservoirs and landfills. You can use a dome squirrel baffle or weather shield to create your own halo. Drill two holes near the bottom of the baffle, on opposite sides from one another. Put a small weight on the other end of each wire strand after inserting the wire’s one end through each hole. If necessary, drill holes halfway between the first holes to add two more strands. Find more information plus suggestions from participants on our blog. Additionally, check out our FeederWatchers Tips page’s section on deterring unwanted visitors to learn about a variation of the halo baffle. Avoid millet, cracked corn, and all ground feeding. House Sparrows favor millet, especially when it’s on the ground. Limit the amount of food you give to ground-feeding birds, such as quail, doves, and native sparrows, at a time to help lower the population of House Sparrows.

A FeederWatcher shares his strategies

FeederWatcher Bill Kampen of Leavenworth, Washington, nearly stopped feeding birds due to a House Sparrow invasion. One day, a few sparrows showed up at Bill’s feeders, and before long, the number of House Sparrows had surpassed that of other species. It can be challenging to keep House Sparrows from taking over a backyard. Bill attempted a variety of tactics, such as applying bark butter, a soft suet, to the underside of tree limbs in the hopes that House Sparrows wouldn’t try to reach such a difficult-to-reach food source. The sparrows “hovered in place like hummingbirds,” according to Bill, in order to get at the bark butter. “You have to admire their tenacity and ingenuity. Following some trial and error, Bill discovered a few useful techniques, which are discussed below.

If you’ve tried everything, consider taking down feeders for a couple of weeks. Then build back the feeding operation one feeder at a time. And if you have nest boxes that House Sparrows are using, swap them for wren or chickadee boxes, which have smaller entrance holes. Because House Sparrows are not native, it is legal to remove them. Given their invasive nature, reducing their populations may in some cases help native bird populations, but this option isn’t for everyone. Individuals who would like to take an active role in reducing House Sparrow populations can find information on the NestWatch website.

It’s unclear if feeding House Sparrows damages native bird populations, despite evidence showing they outcompete native birds for nest cavities. However, we are aware that many people would prefer not to feed House Sparrows, so we are hoping that these recommendations will enable them to draw a greater range of birds to their bird feeders.

But recently the sparrows population has rocketed. On certain days, the hedges are crowded with them as soon as I replenish the four feeders there before returning to the house. The feeders are empty after a few hours. You literally have to watch the feeders disappear! Their size belies their intimidating nature; they chase away the majority of other birds and the ones that remain appear too scared to approach the boisterous group!

Over the past four years, my son and I have enjoyed feeding the birds in our garden, but we have noticed a significant increase in sparrows. We are blessed with a garden that is roughly 150 feet long and has mature mixed hedges all around. We had a really diverse selection when we first became interested in the birds, which was fantastic.


What attracts birds the most?

Native flowers, shrubs, and trees are great choices because they will naturally attract birds that live in your area and strengthen your local ecosystem. Birds are also drawn to bright colors (especially the color of their own species), an attraction that comes from their breeding instincts.

How do you attract Cardinals and not sparrows?

Natural fruits that attract these birds include blueberry bushes, mulberry trees, and other dark-colored berries. Bird seeds that have been known to attract Cardinals include black oil sunflower, cracked corn, suet, Nyjer® seed, mealworms, peanuts, safflower, striped sunflower, and sunflower hearts and chips.

What bird seed does not attract sparrows?

Safflower is simply not a favorite of sparrows, and when it’s compressed into the seed “log,” it’s even less so. This is perfect for your Cardinals, chickadees, and house finches (be sure you don’t confuse the brown female and juvenile house finches with brown sparrows).