Bird Feeding Problem Solvers and Deterrents

Our expert staff has had years of experience problem solving our customer’s backyard birding dilemmas. We have a lot of great take-away resources in store as well as online in our FAQs.

Wild Turkeys

We have more Wild Turkeys in the metro area than ever before and although these are awesome birds, they can create some issues in the yard. Plastic Bird Spikes can be temporarily affixed to deck railings with bungie cords to keep turkeys from landing and eating out of the deck mounted bird feeders.

Using Mr. Bird seed cylinders, seed that is mixed with gelatin and formed into cylinders, prevents birds from bill sweeping and sending seed to the ground for the turkeys to find.

Wild turkey
Squirrel eating seed from a bird feeder


Check out our information on Discouraging Squirrels on the web and in store. If your pole is too short for a squirrel baffle or too close to trees and fences, try Squirrel Slip. It is non-toxic to wildlife and eco-friendly. Rub it on the pole to keep squirrels from climbing your feeding station.

We have many options for deterring squirrels including hot pepper powder or liquid to add to your seed or seed and suet that already has the hot sauce mixed in. Birds have few taste buds and aren’t bothered by the spicy seed.

Golden Safflower or White Safflower aren’t as appealing to squirrels. Though both deter squirrels, we have found that smaller birds like Goldfinches have an easier time cracking the thinner shell of the Golden Safflower. It is also higher in fat and protein than White Safflower. We also have a whole line of very successful squirrel resistant feeders to choose from.

Grackles and Starlings/Larger Birds

To make your backyard bird feeding more bird selective—meaning, not as appealing to certain birds like Common Grackles and European Starlings try the following:

Nyjer® feeders will attract smaller birds like American Goldfinches, House Finches and Black-capped Chickadees, but the small openings prevent larger birds from feeding.

An upside-down suet feeder makes it difficult for crows, grackles and starlings to reach the suet. They are not as good at clinging to feeders as woodpeckers, chickadees and nuthatches. A caged suet feeder is another good option to keep these larger birds out and deter gray squirrels from eating the suet.

Using Golden Safflower or White Safflower instead of a Black-oil sunflower seed mix helps to deter squirrels, Grackles, Starlings, some Red-winged Blackbirds. Bye-Bye Starling allows you to serve a black-oil sunflower mix without attracting atarlings. There is no seed out of the shell and no peanuts and starlings have a harder time cracking open the hard-shelled seeds. Adding a 19” wire cage around your 15” tube feeders will keep out gray squirrels, grackles and starlings. The downside is cardinals prefer not to enter the cage to feed.

A large grackle on a small wood bird feeder

No-Mess Feeding

To feed birds on the patio, deck or in a garden area use Kracker Jax or #1 Select Sunflower Hearts. These seeds have no shell and will leave no waste. We recommend squirrel resistant feeders to feed these seeds to birds and not squirrels.

Stop in to your neighborhood store and we will help you select the products that best suit your particular backyard!

Article by Minnetonka Manager CAROL CHENAULT