Deter house sparrows
Ground-feeding house sparrows prefer to scratch around the base of bird feeders, often taking over the area. Higher placement of feeders will help keep these birds away, and tube or hopper feeders that dangle and sway are good choices, since house sparrows aren’t good at hanging on while eating.
Research at the University of Nebraska has shown that a halo with weighted wires hanging past the perches tends to scare off many house sparrows. You’ll still get a few, but they won’t be as intimidating to other bird species if there’s not a whole flock. We made the one at left with an old squirrel baffle, 1⁄16-inch galvanized wire and some hex nuts.
You can also scatter cheap corn and millet on the ground, away from your feeders, to attract the bully birds to an easier meal. Use safflower, thistle and black oil sunflower in the feeders for cardinals and finches.