Dove Proof Bird Feeder – UPDATED 2020 – How To Discourage Doves From Bird Feeder?

We have all experienced this. We get a bird feeder and seeds to attract beautiful songbirds to the backyard and set up everything to wait for the visitors. However, it does not go as planned.

We see bully birds like blackbirds, doves and grackles attacking the yard in flocks and scaring away all the songbirds we wanted to have in the first place.

One of the most common problems in backyard bird feeding is to limit the access to undesirable birds while attracting the right ones. Problem birds like doves can deplete bird seeds quickly and monopolize feeders.

This is why it is essential to discourage doves from accessing bird feeders. In this post, we talk about dove proof bird feeders and other effective solutions to keep these bully birds away.

Dove Proof Bird Feeder – How To Discourage Doves From Bird Feeder?

Backyard birders who face bully bird problems can use various strategies to discourage these large birds from their bird feeder.

While there are many ways to discourage bad behaviour and limit their access to bird feeders, the most effective strategy is to use bird feeders that doves can’t use. If you have a tray, you can remove it as doves are too big to use tube perches.

If doves use perches, you can try to shorten them. The perch should extend only an inch from the tube to give place to small songbirds like chickadees, finches and others. You can even find ready-made dove-proof feeders specially designed to keep large birds away.

They are generally cage-shaped with a tube suspended within. This design would let small birds enter while doves stay away.

To avoid spending on bird feeders, you can build a cage of wire yourself. Anything that excludes doves from accessing food works. Feeders with wire cage, perchless bowl-style feeders and tubes with small perches all are great.

Bird Feeders For Small Birds Only

To discourage large birds from accessing feeder, we can use bird feeders that work against their size and limited athletic ability.

Tube Feeders

A classic tube feeder would do the job of preventing unwanted birds. Doves would be too big to fit onto the small perches of these feeders. Ensure not to add a try at the bottom or it would provide a large landing area for doves.

Cage Feeders

Some bird feeders come enclosed in a wire mesh to keep bigger birds from accessing seeds. Though this type of feeders is generally designed to keep squirrels away, they can be effective at discouraging bully birds.

You can even consider adding coated wire around existing bird feeders to allow small birds to enter while excluding larger ones.

Underneath Feeders

Birds like doves can often monopolize a suet feeder and empty it quickly, leaving no seeds for other birds. However, changing the design of the feeder can solve the problem.

A bird feeder with an underneath tray would make it difficult for bigger birds to get seeds while smaller birds would happily cling upside down to access the food.

How To Keep Big Birds Away From Feeders?

Doves and other big birds are called bully birds because they don’t play nicely with other birds visiting your feeder. They often visit in flocks and take over the feeding station. However, there are some ways to keep big birds away from feeders.

While it is a great idea to change the design of the feeder to restrict big birds, there are some other ways you can keep them away.

Keep the Feeding Area Clean

Seeds scattered below the bird feeders invite bully birds. You can ensure regular cleaning of tray and feeding areas to remove these seeds.

Analyze the design of your feeders to see if birds can easily discard unwanted food. A lot of birds try to pick their favorite food from the mix and dump the rest on the ground where bully birds may be roaming in search of food.

Offer Specialized Food

A good way to get rid of big birds like doves is to offer foods that these birds don’t eat. Bully birds like inexpensive food like wheat, millet, cracked corn, sunflower seeds, oats, bread and others. While doves and other birds eat a variety of seeds, you should make sure you avoid offering their favourites.

You should also make sure you don’t get bird seed mixes as they contain a high amount of their favorite seeds. Get specialized foods like fruits, Nyjer, safflower seeds and jelly to attract specific birds would keep these big birds away.

Avoid Ground Feeding

Bully birds are easily attracted to feeding areas like ground or large trays. You can try removing such easy-access feeding stations to limit the availability of food to big birds. This will encourage them to move along to find other sources.

Weight Sensitive Bird Feeders – A Complete Guide

Weight sensitive bird feeders offer one of the most effective ways to keep big birds like doves away from feeding stations. This type of feeder is designed to allow smaller, lightweight birds to access the seeds while the feeder would close the access for bigger, heavy birds like doves. Weight sensitive bird feeders generally have perches attached to the spring of the feeder. When a specific weight is experienced on the perch, a wall or door gets activated and closes the access to the food.

Weight sensitive bird feeders function on the basis of weight difference between songbirds and bully birds and use weight sensitive perches.

They are adjustable to allow certain birds to enter. With this type of feeder, small birds get enough food while big birds don’t get access to food. They are generally called squirrel proof feeders but work efficiently for keeping bully birds away.

Absolute II Bird Feeder

With weight sensitive perches, this bird feeder closes automatically when a big bird tries to climb on. It has a steel body so there is no chance of breaking. It is a large feeder that accommodates varied species of birds and holds up to 12 lbs of seeds.

It is also easy to refill and clean. It has a top lid that can be detached for cleaning. It also keeps the food dry in rain. Adjusting the perches to weight sensitivity, you can easily customize the feeder for desired use.

Droll Yankees Yankee Flipper

A fun dove proof bird feeder, Yankee flipper prevents larger birds by spinning them off. As soon as the perches sense enough weight, the battery-powered motor activates and tosses the bird from the feeder gently. It holds enough food and allows small birds to feed easily. However, as it is battery powered, it should be recharged regularly.