Bird Barn logo
Male Blackbird perched on ceramic bird feeding platform

Do Blackbirds feed from bird tables

Blackbirds are unlike common garden birds, in that they are soft-billed birds so have fragile beaks that can't break into hard bird food of any kind.

Blackbirds do feed from bird tables providing you offer them up the correct wild bird feed, similar to what they eat in nature. Soft husk seeds such as sunflower hearts will do, but so to can leaving out berries or raisins. Other food to place in the bird table can be any type of suet or dried mealworms.

How easy is it to bring the tit family, robins, sparrows and others to any type of bird table, while blackbirds are seen to use it less.

Its no coincidence either, as wild birds other than blackbirds can tuck into hard or soft bird food, whereas blackbirds are soft-billed birds - meaning they can only eat seeds with soft husks, fruits or suet.

Once you master what food blackbirds eat out in the wild, you can then attract them to the bird table with similar or near identical food.

Mealworms can be bought for wild birds so is just the thing for blackbirds, but so to are berries or raisins if you can spare them.

In putting anything on the bird table for blackbirds especially, know that they can be quickly eaten by other species - so do time it right with blackbirds in the area.

What else you can do of course to bring blackbirds to a bird table is to put the bird table in a good spot, while making sure the bird table is a good size as to not restrict them.

Blackbirds prefer bird tables

Blackbirds do not have the ability to use feeders hanging off a tree branch or bracket, so to make use of a bird table can certainly attract blackbirds to feed in your garden.

Bird tables in use would preferably be a bird table on a stand under cover of a roof, but to use a hanging or mounted bird table would be acceptable

Open bird tables work even better but they're more seasonal than all year round.

Blackbirds do feed from a bird table then so there's no reason why you should not be receiving visitations by blackbirds on a daily basis.

If no bird table is in use thus far, don't worry as this will change once its up and running.

However, blackbirds are quite particular in what they eat so to serve up too hard or the wrong kind of wild bird feed won't see any success.

Offer up correct feed

Blackbirds are soft-billed wild birds so that basically means they can only tackle food that is softer than the usual hard seeds or seed mixes with a hard to bite into husk.

Damage to their beaks is certainly a possibility if they attempt to eat what you leave out, so let's use food that is the correct kind from the start.

Blackbirds prefer to eat a variety of insects and worms, and so to do they eat berries and fruits in nature - and when in season of course.

You can then replicate their diet by offering up similar, if not identical food.

Now you probably can't feed worms or live insects to blackbirds found in nature, but you can substitute that with dried mealworms. You can also re-hydrate mealworms by soaking in water, or why not use live mealworms.

If you don't want to deal with insects of any kind, then why not use berries on your bird table as blackbirds are fruit eating birds, so will very much enjoy them.

Intended vs. unintended

If you've had a wooden bird table setup in the garden for a long time now, you may come to see blackbirds visit once in a while.

Why you might not of seen them as much could in fact be due to incorrect food in use.

So if you're lucky enough, you could be receiving a number of visits by blackbirds unintended - so you need to do little else then perhaps improve on what you are feeding them.

However, you may be wanting to encourage blackbirds to use your bird table along with the small common garden birds who rapidly use it on daily basis.

But again though, why you are not seeing much success is the lack of proper feed.

To bring blackbirds enjoying a longer stay under the bird table then would be to first use the proper feed as outline above.

But in doing so, do not neglect other wild birds who use the bird table more regularly, while coming to seriously rely on it for food.

Helped using tall eave

In making use of a bird table for small birds only won't help to bring more medium size blackbirds to feed under what would be a low eave bird table roof.

And certainly a blackbird won't have much trouble feeding under a bird table that is designed to allow smaller birds, but deter larger birds like pigeons or crows.

What can prevent blackbirds using your bird table though is any cage or bars that can restrict their access.

Blackbirds will land on the rim of the bird table that is a perch or a simple edge, only then can they walk into the centre of the bird bird to eat off the feeding platform.

With all that in mind, make sure there's no restrictions in place on their movement.

Standard, cheap bird table to buy would be enough for blackbirds to use, high eave or not - so there's no need to go out and buy a certain style of bird table to attract a single wild bird species only.

Prefer spill on ground

If you really want to force blackbirds to feed from the bird table then, take onboard my advice explained thus far with confidence it can work.

What you need to know though as blackbirds cannot use hanging bird feeders of any kind - in most circumstances - while barely using a bird table if there's no correct feed in use, they can refer back to feeding on the ground.

Blackbirds are ground feeding birds so don't be surprised to see them feed on the ground below the bird table, rather than feeding off it.

To see blackbirds feed off the ground directly below a bird table is them simply eating spillage - left over by the tits, robins and sparrows.

It would help then to organise things a little better under the bird table to see less feed drop off - where centring the food in the middle can really help to keep things tidy.

Likewise, there's certainly no harm in throwing mealworms to blackbirds on the ground to guarantee they get a share of the spoils.


As it happens blackbirds probably prefer bird tables because they know they can access them, as oppose to hanging bird feeders they have difficulty in using.

Over to bird tables then if attracting blackbirds, but for them to actually use it would depend on using the correct feed only.

Favourites of their's include berries, raisins and other fruits found in nature, but you can use softer seeds like sunflower hearts or anything else that is a favourite with common garden birds.

Suet containing fruit or soft seeds is going to be a big favourite but so to if using live or dried mealworms on top of the bird table feeding platform.

Blackbirds would normally be a common bird to see on the bird table, but whether they use it or not can again, depend on what you've left on the bird table.

Blackbirds can revert to using the ground below the bird table for any spoils as they are ground feeding birds after all - but ideally you'd want to avoid that as they can be in reach of predators.

Share this article: