How to stop crows, jackdaws and magpies from eating all the bird food

The most common corvids found in the UK include the carrion crow, the rook, the jackdaw, the magpie, and the jay, and, like squirrels and starlings, they are able to use their cunning and dexterity to empty a bird feeder quickly, scaring away the smaller birds in the process.

Corvids are not all bad though - these intelligent birds play a pivotal role in maintaining ecological balance by scavenging carrion and preventing disease spread. Some corvid species aid in seed dispersal, contributing to forest regeneration, while others help control insect populations, offering natural pest control in gardens and farms. Their remarkable intelligence and problem-solving abilities have provided valuable insights into animal cognition and behaviour, enriching our scientific knowledge - they can use tools, understand cause-and-effect relationships, recognise human faces (and share information about us with one another), communicate in different dialogues, and even plan for future needs, showcasing a high level of cognitive flexibility.

How to stop crows, jackdaws and magpies from eating all the bird food

Your best solution is a Medusa Feeder Defender. While this simple yet effective feeder guardian won’t deny access to starlings and squirrels, it deters corvids who dislike the feeling of the hanging chains that surround your feeder of choice on their flight feathers, and will leave the food alone.

Corvids can also be deterred using the Squirrel Buster (although in our garden they have been known to dive bomb the weight activated Squirrel Buster to shake food free without resting their weight on the perches). I have had a lot of success deterring crows, magpies, jackdaws and squirrels, pigeons and starlings with the Starling Proof Bird Feeder Guardian, which is a set including a heavy duty cage, seed tray, rain guard and feeder with stainless steel perches. 

We have a few free-access feeders in our garden, which the corvids enjoy using. Having one feeder just for the little birds has definitely changed the variety and number of small bird species we have visiting, though, which has been such a brilliant change to see. Do you have any other solutions to corvids in your garden? Send me a message to and share your tips!