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Birding/Feeder for large birds

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Question
Hi!
I've never had a bird feeder before, but I love blackbirds and would like to try feeding them.  It seems I'm alone in this because in all my attempts to find what kind of feeder will accommodate them, all I can find are feeders designed to discourage them. Do you know of an easy-to-clean hanging feeder that will be used by crows, grackles and jays? I'd be happy to have squirrels eat from it too, but I'd like it to be something they won't destroy. Can you offer guidance on what to look for, so I know my feeder is acceptable to the birds I love most?  I've heard short perches discourage blackbirds, but I don't know what's "short" and what's "long".  I've also heard they will eat from flat feeders but that these are messy and to be avoided.  Thank you!

Answer
Hi Lynn. It's as much the food as it is the feeder. Bigger birds like bigger seeds like sunflower seeds and cracked corn. I find that goat food that you can find at a feed store has bigger grain and it's cheap as well. Bigger birds don't like hanging feeders much so I suggest a flat tray feeder with a cover at least a foot above the tray. Easy to make or you can buy a commercial one. There must be a hundred sites on the internet that sell bird feeders. I like tray feeders although birds do kick seeds out of them, but seeds on the ground will also attract the birds you like. Here's a good place to start your search ---http://www.duncraft.com/Bird-Feeders  

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Roger Lederer

Expertise

Any and all about WILD birds - the science of ornithology. Information about birdwatching, ecology, conservation, migration, behavior, banding, rehabilitation, feeding, songs, binoculars, identification, and careers in ornithology. No questions about pet or caged birds, please.

Experience

Have a PhD and over forty years as a professional ornithologist - research, teaching, author, speaker, webmaster of Ornithology.com . Have written thirty scientific papers, three bird field guides, a textbook in ecology four other bird books, the latest being "Beaks, Bones, and Bird Songs". Have traveled to 100 countries watching birds and have spoken to hundreds of groups about birds.

Education/Credentials
PhD in Zoology/Ornithology; Emeritus Professor of Biological Sciences; former Dean of the College of Natural Sciences at California State University, Chico

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