Are the grackles gone yet? Haven't seen any around but we've only been filling the birdfeeders wtih safflower seed. I sure don't want to put sunflower seeds out and have the scavengers get them!
I still have starlings. I haven't seen grackles or red-winged black birds, just starlings.
Hmmm. I've had cardinals, blue jays, chickadees, goldfinches, mourning doves, house sparrows, and what I think are pine siskins since I began filling my feeders a few weeks ago. Nary a single grackle or starling, and only one cowbird, briefly. (the grackles have a way of taking the seed tray off my feeder (which no other bird has ever done) so I always know when they're there.) I kept putting suet out all summer for my hungry downy woodpecker family, too. I've been using a seed mix that includes black oil sunflower, cracked corn, sunflower chips, raisins, and peanuts. I also use the Morning Song woodpecker suet. The Jays really like it, too, probably because of the nuts. I can't imagine why the grackles would ignore it if they were around now -- they seemed to descend on anything I put out in the spring.
I've had a LOT of grackles this year, more than ever before. I finally let the feeder stay empty for a couple days, and when I filled it again the sparrows and chickadees found it quickly, but the grackles didn't return for several days, and then only a couple of them instead of a flock of 20. If they become a nuisance again, I'll switch to the safflower seed for a while. I just put up a finch feeder, and I've loved seeing the chickadees, gold finches, and even a downy woodpecker at it. (I've also seen a squirrel practically turn itself into a pretzel trying to find a way into it. But no grackles at THAT feeder!)