Deterring Unwelcome Birds While some people welcome any bird regardless of its size or appetite, others get frustrated when grackles, starlings, pigeons, or crows overrun their feeders. To discourage these larger birds from becoming a nuisance, use feeders that are made for smaller birds, such as tube feeders that have short perches and no catch basins on the bottom. Or use feeders designed to deter larger birds, such as feeders that close under the weight of a large bird or feeders surrounded by a wire mesh large enough for only small birds to get through. Avoid platform trays, and do not spread food on the ground. Provide suet in starling-proof feeders (feeders that allow access to the suet only from the bottom). Find more tips for deterring unwelcome birds on our Tips from FeederWatchers page. Hopper feeder with halo baffle, illustration by Cornell Lab Bartels Science Illustration intern Caitlin Turner. Deterring House Sparrows House Sparrows can be particularly challenging because they are relatively small birds that can quickly take over a feeder area and crowd other birds out. Some of the tips listed above will help, but some FeederWatchers have found that halo baffles, which use weighted filament wire around feeders, deter House Sparrows without deterring other bird species. Read more tips for deterring House Sparrows, including instructions for building one type of halo baffle, and learn more about halo baffles on our blog.