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 210 -Eliminating Grackles and starlings (Feb. 26, 2021)

Once we hit March, the grackles and starlings are starting to show up at feeders again. They can be so annoying and will take over your bird feeders and scare away all the more appealing birds. On this episode I show you some different feeders, and seed that you can offer to help eliminate them … Read more

Garden Gate: Episode 52-Discouraging large birds

CHEX TV airdate: Friday Dec. 12th, 2014 Click link to watch it here! Finch feederFeeding and watching the birds is a wonderful past time. ?You can spend hours watching the chickadees coming in to grab a seed one after another. ?Polite little birds! Then there are the goldfinches. They have such a pretty song, I could listen to them all day. They will come in large flocks and sit all day taking turns eating your Nyger seed. Bright red Cardinals appear and we almost jump for joy! ?When they are courting or have little ones to feed you might enjoy dad helping to pass on a seed or two. ?FUN! Aww, bsb+ut then the fun ends. Sir Squirrel or Gastly Grackle moves in….birds fly away and these two devour everything in site! On this episode of The Garden Gate, I’ll give you some tips on types of feeders that discourage squirrels and grackles as well as bird food that they don’t like. Feel free to drop in to see these feeders or to get more information. We’re here to help and to make your back yard bird feeding more enjoyable! Note: we do not recommend bird food with cayenne. ?If a squirrel gets the cayenne pepper in their eyes they can do serious damage to their eyes. ?Also, it has been shown that it affects birds stomachs. They can’t necessarily taste it, but their little tummies don’t like it. ?

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.

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