Every week I start out with exactly the birding information you want by answering a reader's question. This week, Cheryl from Texas asks...
"Mourning doves seem to hover over the feeders, eat most of the seed and keep away the smaller birds as well as the cardinals that are here. Is there any deterrent to their presence?"
Mourning doves may seem like gentle birds, but they can be bullies. To control bully birds at the feeders, try removing feeding trays or shortening perches so they don't have a place to land, and opt for tube-style or mesh feeders that will be harder for them to get seed from. Another option is to provide them an easier meal in a nearby ground-feeding area in the hopes that smaller birds can enjoy the other feeders while the doves are occupied.
What tips do you have to control bully birds like doves, blackbirds and sparrows? Share your ideas in the comments, or submit your own question for Mailbag Monday!
Photo © Robert Taylor