How Can I Keep Starlings And Blsck Birds Off Of My Feeder

How Can I Keep Starlings And Blsck Birds Off Of My Feeder

Bird feeders can be a great way to attract a variety of birds. Sadly, starlings and blackbirds can take over and scare away the other species. Trying to watch these birds eat all the food can be annoying. Here is how to keep them away.

Use baffles or cages to stop the large birds from getting to the feeder. Small birds can still get to their food. This way, the smaller, more desirable birds can feed peacefully.

Pick feeders with small perches or mesh openings that the big birds won’t fit through. This way, finches, sparrows, and other nice birds can come without the nuisance birds.

Also, pick the right type of food. Common seed mixes attract the nuisance birds, but they won’t be interested in nyjer or sunflower hearts. Offering these options may help you get the colourful songbirds without the unwelcome guests.

Understanding the Problem

Birds are a common sight in our backyards, with their pretty feathers and cheerful songs. But, starlings and blackbirds can be a nuisance when it comes to feeders. They have a knack for taking over the feed, leaving little for other birds. To make a fair feeding environment, we must understand how to keep them away.

We need to consider the behavior and preferences of starlings and blackbirds. These birds eat a lot, quickly. Their numbers can overwhelm smaller birds who don’t stand a chance. One way to stop them is to provide food sources specifically for other bird species. Put up separate feeders with different types of feed or use feeders that only allow access to smaller birds.

Also, make the feeder less attractive or accessible to starlings and blackbirds. Change the size of openings on the feeder or use weight-activated mechanisms that close off access. Place the feeder in an area that’s difficult for them to get to.

Keep your yard clean and tidy. Remove spilled food or debris near the feeder. Regularly clean the feeders to prevent the spread of diseases.

A study from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology found that starlings and blackbirds cause food competition and aggression towards other birds. By implementing strategies to minimize their presence, we can create a welcoming environment for a variety of birds.

Assessing the Feeder Setup

When thinking about your feeder setup, here are some important points to consider:

  • Hang the feeder at least 10 feet away from any trees or structures.
  • Use feeders that have smaller perches and openings, to discourage larger birds.
  • Opt for seeds that starlings and black birds don’t like, like nyjer or safflower seeds.
  • Install baffles or other squirrel-proof mechanisms to keep unwanted visitors away.
  • Regularly clean the feeder to get rid of spilled seeds or debris that may attract starlings and black birds.

Also, be aware of other details. Make sure the feeder is sturdy, so it can handle bird activity without falling over.

A friend of mine faced a starling problem for weeks. She tried many tactics, but nothing worked. Until she raised the feeder height a few inches. This effectively discouraged the starlings, allowing smaller birds to eat undisturbed.

You too can keep starlings and black birds away and create a welcoming space for other birds, by making small changes and assessing your feeder setup carefully.

Identifying Starlings and Black Birds

Starlings and black birds have similar features, but there are some differences! Starlings have black feathers with iridescence that glitters in the sunlight, yellow eyes, and a medium-sized beak. They are slightly smaller than blackbirds.

Blackbirds have bright yellow eyes, orange beaks, and black plumage without any iridescence. They are bigger than starlings.

Plus, starlings can copy other birds’ sounds, and blackbirds have their own melodic songs.

To attract different birds to your feeder, use feeders specifically for larger or smaller birds.

Negative Impacts of Starlings and Black Birds on Feeders

Starlings and blackbirds can cause serious problems for bird feeders. These include:

  • Chasing away smaller birds.
  • Eating lots of food, leaving little for others.
  • Being aggressive to other birds.
  • Making it hard for smaller birds to compete.
  • Leaving droppings that spread disease.
  • Deterring more desirable birds.

Plus, they are persistent and often damage feeders. Their numbers and appetite make it hard to maintain a peaceful environment.

Starlings and blackbirds were brought from Europe and now are an invasive species in some parts of North America. This has caused their population to explode, making the negative impacts worse.

To stop them, you can:

  • Use feeders designed to exclude bigger birds.
  • Put netting or cages around the feeder.
  • Offer alternative food sources away from the main feeder.

Finally, don’t forget to clean your feeders regularly with a mild bleach solution. Rinse afterwards and refill!

Prevention and Deterrence Methods

Try out these methods to stop starlings and black birds from visiting your feeder:

  1. Bird Netting
  2. Squirrel Baffle
  3. Spikes
  4. Motion-Activated Sprinkler
  5. Adjustable Perch

Keep things clean by regularly picking up spilled seeds and debris. Offer birdseed that starlings don’t like, such as Nyjer seed or safflower seeds.

Fun fact: Starlings are known to mimic other birds’ songs and even imitate mechanical noises like car alarms!

By using these techniques, you can watch a variety of birds at your feeder without starlings and black birds.

Attracting Desired Bird Species

Want to welcome birds into your garden? Strategic bird feeder placement, food offerings, and nesting sites can help! Here are some tips:

  • Select the right feeders. Tube ones for finches; platform ones for ground-dwellers like sparrows and juncos.
  • Offer variety. Research the preferred foods of different bird species and stock up.
  • Add water sources. Birds need fresh water for drinking and bathing. Install birdbaths or fountains near feeders.
  • Create nesting opportunities. Plant native trees and bushes with dense foliage for safe havens.
  • Maintain a bird-friendly environment. Clean feeders and birdbaths regularly. Minimize pesticide use in your yard.

For extra appeal, provide sheltered areas with brush piles or nesting boxes. Plant flowers that produce nectar-rich blooms too. Humans have long been captivated by birds’ beauty and songs. From ancient Egyptians to Victorian times, we’ve sought to attract avian visitors. With more knowledge of bird needs and habits, we continue to make gardens more welcoming and enticing for them!


Keep starlings and blackbirds away from your feeder with weight-activated perches. These perches close when a large bird lands on them, so only smaller birds can access the food. You can also use suet cages with small openings to keep bigger birds out.

Provide a wider variety of bird food. Finches like nyjer seeds, and woodpeckers and chickadees like suet. Black oil sunflower seeds attract desirable species, but not starlings or blackbirds.

I used to struggle with starlings. But after I bought weight-activated perches and provided different types of food, the starlings went away. My bird-watching sessions became peaceful again!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How can I keep starlings and blackbirds off of my feeder?

A: There are several methods you can try to keep starlings and blackbirds away from your feeder:

1. Use selective feeding: Opt for a feeder that allows smaller birds to access the food while keeping larger birds like starlings out.

2. Choose feeder designs specifically for smaller birds: Look for feeders with smaller perches or barriers that prevent larger birds from landing.

3. Provide food that is unattractive to starlings and blackbirds: Opt for seed blends that contain less filler, which these birds may not prefer.

4. Install a squirrel baffle: This can deter starlings from reaching the feeder, as they often rely on squirrels to spill seeds on the ground.

5. Use physical deterrents: Hang reflective objects, such as CDs or aluminum foil strips, around the feeder to scare away starlings and blackbirds.

6. Try using a bird net: Place a bird net over the feeder to prevent larger birds from accessing the food.

Julian Goldie - Owner of

Julian Goldie

I'm a bird enthusiast and creator of Chipper Birds, a blog sharing my experience caring for birds. I've traveled the world bird watching and I'm committed to helping others with bird care. Contact me at [email protected] for assistance.