The Avant-Garden Shop: Your Garden & Bird Store

GARDEN GATE: Episode 288 – The Return of the Grackles (March 15, 2024)

It’s that time again. The grackles have returned and many people are asking how to get rid of them and the starlings. As these birds are invasive it’s a good idea to try to deter them from visiting. Here’s a few tips that can help.  As soon as they start showing up, you want to … Read more

Garden Gate: Episode 124 – Attracting specific birds

CHEX TV airdate: Sept. 15th, 2017 Click link to watch this episode online. Often times people come into the shop with a goal in mind. “How do I attract cardinals?”  They are such beautiful birds we can certainly understand the desire! Well, we can help! I usually begin by asking a few questions to establish … Read more

Garden Gate: Episode 32 – Grackles and Starlings with guest Drew Monkman

Chex air date: February 21st, 2014

Click here to watch this episode of The Garden Gate.

common_grackle_yard_20070516_02Grackles and starlings can be so annoying when they find your bird feeders. ?They eat so much, come in large flocks and scare away the prettier birds like cardinals. (Photo:

During this episode of The Garden Gate I’ll speak with local naturalist and author about these birds and we’ll discuss ways to keep them out of your bird feeders.

Did you know that they don’t like safflower? ?That’s one way to discourage them. Also the Squirrel Buster Plus bird feeder has a few design tricks that also discourage the grackle.

Drew Monkman is the author of Nature’s Year in the Kawarthas and also an updated version called Nature’s Year?which is available at The Avant-Garden Shop. A great book for the cottage, for teaching children about the every day changes in our environment and just about anyone else who loves exploring the outdoors.

Garden Gate: Episode 4 – Choosing feeders for specific birds

Droll Yankees Finch Feeder

CHEX TV air date: Fri. Jan. 25th, 2013

Click here?to watch this episode of The Garden Gate.

This episode of The Garden Gate discussed how to attract specific birds by choosing the right feeder and also the most attractive seed to each bird.

Cardinals, woodpeckers, finches and many others each have a favourite food and a favourite style of feeder.

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