Last month, E. and I bought a bird feeder. We knew our back garden was a haven for finches, sparrows, mourning doves. A feeder seemed to be a dandy idea.
The birds seemed to think it a dandy idea, too. Through out the day, the little finches would show up and feed, chat, watch. They'd fly in and out, just like little planes at a little airport.
And the doves would feast on the spilled seeds. I even got to where I'd 'accidentally' spill seed - and then sit and listen to the coo as the mourning doves waddled in the garden.
But then the grackles started showing up. Grackles are big, mean, nasty. They'd fly in and take over the feeder. Their "caw" alone would keep the little birds away. I hated the grackles - they are scavengers, and our feeder is not scavenger fodder.
A baby grackle might be cute... but he doesn't remain cute for long.
A cage. A cage around the bird feeder is the answer. A cage big enough for the finches, but too small for the grackles. Believe it or not, such a cage is made. And it works!
We now have a condominium feeder. The finch are happy. The mourning doves are happy. The grackles are gone. And the back garden is alive!