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Monday, May 16, 2011

We love feeding the birds, so I keep my feeders filled to the rim with sunflower seeds so the birds would have plenty to eat.
I don't use seed mixes that have fillers, I've always used black oil sunflower seeds.  Healthier for the birds and less little "things" growing in my courtyard with no fillers in the mix!
We also have thistle seed feeders.

I began noticing that I could fill my feeders with sunflower seeds around 8:00 am on a Saturday morning and by noon they were empty!  Hmmm, I wondered...what's going on?  I also began to notice that I was seeing more black birds than song birds.  With black birds come lots of noise, poop and fewer and fewer song birds and doves!
Black birds are big.  They eat a lot of seed.  It was expensive and though I do love all birds, the black birds were making a mess and I was missing the songbirds coming to my feeders.  I wasn't sure what to do, so I asked our locally owned Backyard Wild salesperson if there was a solution and the answer was...YES!

If you want to keep black birds...

and squirrels...

from eating all your seed so that you will have an abundance of song birds gracing your feeders...

a change of seed is in order.
No mixes,
No sunflower seed...
You will need to change to safflower seed!

Blackbirds won't eat it.
Squirrels won't eat it.
Songbirds love it! 

A few years ago, one person I shared this with said their birds wouldn't eat the safflower seed.  When you change your seed it may take a while for them to get used to the change.  If there are other feeders close by they may frequent those more often than yours until they get used to the safflower seed...but they will come.

I switched to safflower seed over five years ago and it has been wonderful.  There are still black birds and squirrels around my yard, but they never eat my seed so they no longer take over the feeders.  We really enjoy watching all of the beautiful songbirds and doves that we feed!

What's your experience with birds...any tips you'd like to share?

Love your comments!

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  1. I have been a bad bird mama and haven't been filling my feeders. I have heard that about the safflower seeds though. I have a bird feeder stand that drives squirrels nuts because they cannot get to the feeders.

  2. Thanks for the tip Cindy. I'm going to try that. Those darn black birds can empty my feeder in a few hours!

  3. I must switch to this seed. I do have a problem with the squirrels drinking my hummingbird food. One broke a nectar feeder today and I am not happy about it.

  4. Very interesting!
    I had been using a feeder with nyjer (thistle) seed and the squirrels ate right through it! Maybe I'll try the safflower seed.

  5. I gave up on bird feeders years ago because the squirrels ate everything. Maybe I'll give it another try! Thanks for the great tip. Have a great week...~Ann

  6. What a fabulous blog you have! Thanks so much for stopping in!
    I was in trouble by our spider guy because I had feeders out for the birds, he said that is why I have a mice problem outside :( I was sad to say good-bye!

  7. Hi Cindy,
    Thanks for coming by today and for your sweet comments, they made me smile!!
    Went back and read your other posts I missed.
    Now that was quite a thoughtful gift from your sister, especially when it helps grow flowers like the ones you showed, so beautiful!!

    We have a birdbath but no feeders, but we do
    get cardinals, doves and blue jays. No black birds, but we do have squirrels. In fact, we have 4 young ones that must be sisters and brothers that frolic and wrestle around together in our big tree out front. they are so cute and fun to watch.

    I am trying to remember what your other post was about. I did read it but my memory fails me at this moment. Sorry about that, oh yea, the pretty lil nest and the pretty flowers. Aren't bird nest just a work of art really. amazing that they do what they do with twigs and leaves and all kinds of stuff they find and carry home.
    Pretty smart cookies I would say!!
    Well, hon you take care, good to hear from you as always,

  8. Great tip! Im definitely going to try this, thank you!


  9. Hi Cindy. Now this is good to know! We don't have many black birds but those little booger squirrels eat all the birdseed - even with those fancy dancy squirrels can't get at it feeders. They always seem to find a way. I'm going to try and get some of this seed.
    Thanks for popping in to see me.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

    1. I have the same problem.. I put a slinky on the pole of the bird feeder stand.. works so far.. black birds still get to the food.. I tried the safflower seeds and it kinda worked but I feel like the other song birds are not really liking it.. maybe I need to give it time.. but I love watching the birds .. just saw 2 parrots by my birdbath the other day

  10. I love your post! We have a lovely treed back yard, but we also have an English Setter who rules it. You'd think the squirrels would find a safer place to live, but they're always jumping tree to tree. I love watching them from my kitchen window!

  11. What a wonderful tip ... thank you !! I love when the birds come to sing on our patio; however, admittedly, I wish they'd understand NOT to "drop" on our furniture ... ugh. :)

  12. Hi Cindy,
    Thank you for sharing the tip. I keep a feeder right outside my big window so I can watch the song birds. Then the squirrel and black birds will come along with the blue jays and take over. The next thing we know, the feeder is empty! Very discouraging and the song birds are afraid of the bigger birds too. So we will have to try the safflower seeds.


  13. Hi Sandi, such an informative post. Thanks for the tip. I feed all our Birds in the Garden, but of course there are always those Dominant ones;) Our neighbors have an olive tree and I've noticed the Black Birds seem to love hanging around his front yard. I guess that's why they are not in mine ;)

  14. I will be sure to try this. My feeders mostly hang empty as the squirrels get to them. I think squirrels are cute and all but I am very partial to my song birds.

  15. That is so good to know!!
    I dont have a real bird feeder out but a little birdhouse with no food in bad! lol
    I will have to check into it though.
    I love the sounds of birds and would love to feed them and enjoy their visits!
    Happy day Cindy!! xo

  16. I did not know that. I would love to get a bird feeder and attract the right kind of Thanks for sharing at my Swing into Spring party.

  17. interesting tip, thanks! We don't get many blackbirds, but have an overload of doves. I notice that the sparrows are messy eaters too. They constantly spill seeds as they eat. A blue parakeet has joined our backyard habitat lately and we're hoping to make friends with him so he can overwinter indoors. Hope you have an awesome day!

  18. Thank you for posting this today! I was at Lowes earlier getting seed for the birds and noticed bags of safflower seed and wasn't sure which birds eat it! Now I can grab a couple bags my next trip and hopefully no more bluejays eating all the songbird food!

  19. Dove adore safflower.

    I like to drop in raisins, dreied cranberries and *dead* meal worms to fruit/nut mixes to invite a diverse crowd to eat.

  20. Hi Cindy, Just visiting from Thru Nanas Window. Thanks for following me and in turn I just became your newest folloer. Love, Love your blog and upon my first visit I have learned something already. We can not keep seed in our feeder because of the squirrels. I will be getting some of the safflower seed tomorrow. I have never heard of them. Thanks. I am looking forward to getting to know you and will visit often.


Your visits make my day and so do your sweet comments. Thank You!

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