Bye Bye Blackbird

Emily White, B.Sc.

Spring is here, and with it comes the inevitable onslaught of grackles at your bird feeders. It’s pretty tough to eliminate them from your yard completely, but here are some tips to reduce numbers and minimize impact:

Try using several smaller, clinging-style feeders with no perches. Providing more feeders will allow birds to spread out so that bullies are not so disruptive. The lack of perching areas will hopefully discourage large grackles.

Caged feeders also prevent grackles from accessing the seed inside. There are many styles available and will attract lots of smaller birds like chickadees, nuthatches, and finches.

Another option is a weighted squirrel-proof feeder. The Squirrel Buster Plus is calibrated so that the feeding ports close when a heavy squirrel or grackle lands on the perching area. Genius!

If you notice that your grackles seem to prefer a certain food, like sunflower seed or peanuts, stop feeding that food for a while. Good alternatives might be safflower seed, nyjer seed, or Featherfields’ Squirrel-Free Birdseed Blend. This best-selling blend contains a variety of seeds such as safflower, millet, canola, nyjer, and canary seed, which are unappealing to grackles but will attract many desirable species such as cardinals, chickadees, and finches.

Try putting out small amounts of food on a daily basis rather than large amounts that last for days – and clean up food from under the feeder regularly to discourage lingering grackles.

If all else fails, change your way of thinking! The Common Grackle is a beautiful, native species with some humorous behaviours – enjoy!

Mom’s Special Day

Mother’s Day weekend is one of our busiest times at Featherfields. Both of our locations are full of exciting, new spring merchandise and many gift ideas for Mom.

Choose any one of our gorgeous pots or planters and stuff it with your choice of any of our new floral garden gloves, garden tools with designs from the Victoria & Albert Museum, a tranquil CD with a combination of music and nature sounds, new lavender hand wash and loofah soap, or Naked Bee’s organic sunscreen stick.

Hasn’t Mom been hinting for a beautiful new birdbath to accent her garden? Or how about a great pair of binoculars … because she deserves it, and because spring migration is on our doorstep.

You can’t go wrong with any of our large selection of decorative hummingbird feeders – certainly some of our best-selling items at this time of year.

To top it off, we provide the best variety of Mother’s Day cards, gift bags and wrap for the finishing touch on your special gift to her.

Spring is in full swing. Make sure to experience the inviting, inspiring, and relaxing atmosphere at both Featherfields’ locations.

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