If you are fascinated by small birds like cardinals, sparrows, finches, and goldfinches, you would certainly want to draw them to your backyard by installing a bird feeder and filling it with seeds. However, things may not always go as desired; you may see flocks of bully birds like ravens, crows, doves, and blackbirds attacking the yard and scaring away all your songbirds.
A common concern among bird lovers is to attract the right species while limiting the feeder’s access to undesirable birds. Large birds like doves can take over feeders and quickly deplete food. It is therefore critical to discourage doves and other bully birds from accessing bird feeders. Today, let us discuss how you can make and use dove-proof bird feeders to get rid of this problem.
Dove Proof Bird Feeder – How To Discourage Doves From Bird Feeder?
Birders who are troubled with the problem of bully birds can use a variety of methods to discourage large birds like doves from the feeding station. There is so much you can do to keep doves away from your bird feeder; the most effective solution is to use a feeder that they cannot use. If your bird feeder has a tray, try to get rid of it as perches will make it difficult for doves to access the food.
If you find that doves are using perches, try to cut their length. Make sure the perch doesn’t extends enough only to accommodate small birds like finches and sparrows. There are many dove-proof bird feeders in the market designed specifically to keep big birds away. These are cage-shaped feeders with a suspended tube inside. Such a design will only allow small birds to enter and keep away doves.
DIY Bird Feeders for Small Birds Only
While there are many options available in the market when you are trying to find a bird feeder that allows only small birds, using your own creativity to make a DIY feeder not only saves money but gives you better control over the feeding station. You can quickly make some bird feeders that restrict bigger, heavier birds while giving easy access to your songbirds.
Use any plastic tube or even a soda or water bottle to make a tube feeder that only allows small birds to feed. Simply make holes in the bottle or tube and attach spoons to let tiny songbirds sit and enjoy their seeds.
You can easily make a bird feeder from any recycled item like a mason jar or milk carton. Just add a roof over it with anything to discourage big birds from getting under it to access the food. You can even create one using a clay pot and plate to provide the perfect feeding station to your songbirds while keeping the bully birds away.
You can also build a cage of wire yourself to keep away big birds from the bird food. Perchless bowl-style feeders, tubes with small perches, or DIY feeders with a wire cage all do the job.
How To Keep Big Birds Away From Feeders?
Some birds like doves and crows are often called problem birds as they disturb songbirds visiting the feeding station. These big birds often come in flocks and scare small birds, monopolizing the feeder. However, you can use a few strategies to discourage these bully birds. Apart from changing the design of your feeder to restrict bully birds, here are a few things you can do to keep big birds away.
Keep the Feeding Area Clean
Food spread below the feeding stations often attracts big birds to the yard. Make sure you clean the tray and surrounding area on a regular basis. Also, see if your feeder has a design that readily discards excess food. Birds generally pick their favorite seeds from the mix and drop the rest on the ground, inviting big birds who are in search of food.
Provide Specialized Food
An effective way to get rid of doves and other big birds is to fill up your feeder with foods that these species don’t eat. Bully birds generally prefer to eat bread, wheat, sunflower seeds, millet, and corn. See that you don’t offer seed mixes containing a lot of their favorites. Instead, get specialized food like jelly, nyjer, and others to attract only songbirds.
Avoid Ground Feeding
Big birds are generally attracted to large trays and grounds. A great way to restrict them is to eliminate easy access feeders and avoid ground feeding your birds. This will limit food availability to these birds and encourage them to flock elsewhere.
Weight Sensitive Bird Feeders – A Complete Guide
One of the most effective solutions to keep away big birds like doves from feeding stations, weight-sensitive bird feeders boast a special design that only allows access to lightweight, small birds while limiting access to heavy, bigger birds like doves. This type of feeder typically has weight-sensitive perches installed on the spring that open or close access based on the weight of the bird trying to access it.
Whenever the perch experiences a higher than normal weight, a door or wall is activated to close access to food. These bird feeders are adjustable to allow specific birds. With such a feeder, small birds always get seeds while bigger birds like doves are limited access. They are called squirrel-proof bird feeders but work great for keeping away bully birds.
Squirrel-X5 Bird Feeder
This squirrel-proof bird feeder provides an effective way to keep away big birds from your bird food. It comes with six spring-loaded perches designed to subside automatically whenever a bully bird tries to access the feeder. It also has six feeding ports with a covered top to keep the seeds dry and protected.
The metallic perches drop under the weight of a squirrel, pigeon, dove, or any heavy bird, limiting access to only small birds. You can adjust the spring tension to allow specific birds to the perch. This feeder holds up to 3 lbs of bird seeds and has a robust, durable construction.
A dove-proof bird feeder is a perfect solution for birders trying to keep doves and bully birds away from the backyard. You can easily find a dove-proof feeding station in a variety of designs or make one yourself to attract your favorite songbirds. Taking a few simple steps will make your feeder dove-proof, getting you rid of problem birds taking over the bird feeder so that you can feed small birds peacefully.