Jul 3, 2019 | Featured in: Watching Backyard Birds, June 2019

Discouraging Starlings from Feeders

A European starling greedily eyes the offerings at a suet feeder.
Share:

A flock of European starlings can make short work of your birdseed and suet. To encourage them to dine elsewhere, adapt your buffet and your serving utensils. Starlings' favorite foods are peanuts, mixed seed, bread products, table scraps, and suet. Foods they don't care for include peanuts in the shell and gray striped sunflower seeds—their bill isn't designed to crack open hard hulls. Nyjer seed is too small to be worth the bother for these husky birds, and while they will eat safflower seed and black-oil sunflower, they are not favorites. Also, starlings prefer suet dough that contains seeds over plain suet. Starlings are incredibly adaptable birds, but they struggle to use tube feeders. There are suet feeders in which the access is only at the bottom, requiring birds to hang upside down to feed. That's no problem for woodpeckers, nuthatches, chickadees, and most other feeder birds, but challenging for starlings. Try any or all of the above to encourage your neighborhood starling flock to move on to a better buffet elsewhere.



What do you think? Tell us!

comments powered by Disqus

New On This Site

The Latest Comments

  • I live in Southeastern Massachusetts. Four "orphaned" very young poults (males) showed up in my yard about a year ago. They have been around all year. I do feed them cracked corn, and they come when I call for them. I don't want to over- domesticate them, but they do recognize me as the lady that brings food. They roost in the big oak trees at night. I have a 1 acre lot, with many acres of protected forest out back and a pond on the property.Lately, during mating season, I have had hens in the yard too. We've counted as many as 7 Toms and hens, but today, had just the one stalwart (a very robust Tom) that comes everyday. One of the Toms that has recently made an appearance is wounded, limping with an obvious predator wound. The local wildlife experts say he should make a full recovery, and that he's best left to recover with his flock.I find them to be interesting and beautiful birds.
    by Heather Cole, Mon, 06 Apr 2020
  • You have to put food in it.
    by Truckee Man, Mon, 06 Apr 2020
  • Love listeningto both songs and calls from birds in our woody neighborhood. The two types of birds I immediately recognize are the cardinals and the chickadees. Yesterday afternoon too, I heard a woodpecker. Then it’s time to check the birdfeeders and the birdbath. Then In no time at all the cardinals and chickadees arrive, as if they had been watching me. As it gets busier around the feeders, I also hear thé screeching of the blue jays. I even saw a couple of robins checking out our lawn....spring has arrived as the last pat gesofisticeerde snow and ice melt away.
    by louisabt, Sun, 08 Mar 2020
  • I am wondering about existing nests for Phoebes. I have two outdoor aisle entries to my barn and there are old Phoebe nests up. They ignore them each year and build new nests adjacent to the old, but space is running out. Should I knock down the old nests so they can rebuild?
    by [email protected], Sun, 02 Feb 2020
  • Just wondering, should we put anything in the bottom of the box...twigs, clippings, leaves....anything at all?
    by Hebb, Tue, 28 Jan 2020