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How to Attract Blackbirds to Your Backyard

Izzy McPhee

Blackbirds are generally simple to attract. They are omnivorous, meaning they eat both plant and animal matter. Highly intelligent, blackbirds will return to a yard that they feel is safe and offers food, water and shelter for them and their young. The antics of fledgling blackbirds make the small amount of trouble setting up for them well worth it.

You might spot a male red-winged blackbird feeding its young.
  1. Plant a garden to attract blackbirds. Fruiting plants such as blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, bittersweet, grapes, cherries, plums and roses (rose hips) provide a good source of calories and other nutrients. Vegetable plants such as sunflowers, corn, tomatoes, melons and peas will be appreciated as well. Plant a garden that produces throughout the year for best results.

  2. Clean water is essential when trying to attract most wildlife species. Use more than one area to water birds as dominant individuals will defend favorite areas. Make sure the watering holes are deep enough to bathe in but shallow enough so the birds can easily walk through. Blackbirds fear water.

  3. Create desired habitat by including sheltering trees, grasses and shrubs in the landscape. Blackbirds like to have a high vantage point from which to watch for predators, trespassers and potential mates. Blackbirds like to nest in shrubs, grasses and trees, so provide all of these for happier birds.

  4. Do not allow hunting in the blackbird habitat. The birds learn quickly to avoid humans when they have been shot at or have had their nesting sites disturbed. Keep domestic animals like cats and dogs away from nesting areas as well.

  5. Providing habitat for blackbird prey such as lizards, mice and insects will ensure they stick around and have a healthy, varied diet for their young. Lizards like hot rocks and logs with nooks and crannies to reside in. Insects such as grasshoppers will thrive in a small field of mixed grasses. Attract earthworms by keeping a pile of rotting, organic compost for the birds to dig in.