How Does One Get Rid Of Starlings At Their Bird Feeders?

How Does One Get Rid Of Starlings At Their Bird Feeders

Starlings can be a nuisance at bird feeders, outcompeting native bird species and consuming large amounts of bird food. To address this problem, there are several methods you can employ to get rid of starlings at your bird feeders.

1. Remove Attractants: Clean up any spilled birdseed or food scraps that may attract starlings.

2. Modify Feeding Area: Use selective feeders that only allow access to smaller birds, or adjust the feeder design to make it difficult for starlings to access the food.

3. Use Deterrents: Employ visual deterrents like reflective tape or scare eye balloons, sound deterrents such as wind chimes or predator calls, and physical deterrents like cage-like structures or spikes.

4. Employ Scare Tactics: Install visual scare tactics like scarecrows or fake predators, and utilize auditory scare tactics such as playing recorded predator calls.

5. Collaborate with Others: Work together with neighbors or local bird enthusiasts to create a starling-free environment by implementing similar strategies.

Taking preventive measures to avoid starling infestation in the first place is crucial. These include properly storing bird food, using feeders that are less attractive to starlings, and planting native plants that provide alternative food sources for birds.

By implementing these methods and preventive measures, you can effectively manage starling populations at your bird feeders and create a more hospitable environment for native bird species.

Key takeaway:

  • Starlings are a problem at bird feeders: They compete with native bird species and consume large amounts of bird food.
  • Methods to get rid of starlings at bird feeders include removing attractants, modifying the feeding area, using deterrents, employing scare tactics, and collaborating with others.
  • Preventive measures can help avoid starling infestation at bird feeders.

Why Are Starlings a Problem at Bird Feeders?

Starlings can be quite the troublemakers when it comes to bird feeders. They not only outcompete native bird species but also have an insatiable appetite, consuming large amounts of bird food. In this section, we’ll uncover why starlings pose such a problem at bird feeders. Get ready to dive into their impact on native species and their voracious eating habits. It’s time to understand the challenges and find effective solutions to these pesky feathered invaders.

Competing with Native Bird Species

When starlings infest bird feeders, they pose a competition threat to native bird species. Here are some ways in which starlings compete with native bird species:

  1. Food consumption: Starlings are known to consume large amounts of bird food, leaving less available for other bird species. Their excessive consumption quickly depletes food sources, leading to starvation and reduced breeding success for native birds.
  2. Aggression: Starlings are aggressive birds and often dominate feeders, preventing other bird species from accessing food. Their aggressive behavior intimidates smaller birds and disrupts their feeding patterns.
  3. Nesting space competition: Starlings are cavity nesters and compete with native birds for limited nest sites. They can take over nest boxes or tree cavities, displacing native species and reducing their breeding opportunities.
  4. Disrupting social structures: Starlings often form large flocks that disrupt the social structures of native bird species. They outcompete native birds for mates, territory, and other vital resources.

To mitigate the negative impact of starlings competing with native bird species, consider implementing the following measures:

  • Use selective feeders: Utilize feeders specifically designed to exclude larger birds, such as starlings, while allowing access for smaller native birds.
  • Adjust feeder design: Modify the feeder design to make it challenging for starlings to access the food, while still providing access for native bird species.
  • Provide alternative habitats: Create additional nesting options, such as nesting boxes or birdhouses, specifically designed for native birds to encourage their breeding and offer sufficient nesting space.
  • Collaborate with others: Partner with local birding organizations or communities to share knowledge and resources, supporting native bird species and collectively mitigating starling competition.

Consuming Large Amounts of Bird Food

Starlings have a notorious reputation for their habit of consuming large amounts of bird food, and this can pose a significant problem for bird feeders. It is important to keep the following key points in mind:

  1. Starlings are known for their voracious appetites and their ability to consume a substantial amount of bird food at feeders.
  2. Due to their dominance, they can prevent other birds from accessing food, leading to a decline in native bird populations.
  3. Starlings can consume up to 80 grams of bird food per day, depending on availability and competition.
  4. This excessive consumption results in increased costs for bird food and the need for frequent refilling of feeders.
  5. One way to minimize the impact of starlings consuming large amounts of bird food is to use selective feeders that are specifically designed to exclude larger birds like starlings.
  6. Another effective strategy is to adjust the feeder design by creating barriers or obstacles that make it difficult for starlings to reach the food.

Pro-tip: To further discourage starlings from consuming large amounts of bird food, you may consider using bird deterrents, such as visual scare tactics or sound deterrents. These methods help create an inhospitable environment for starlings, encouraging them to seek food elsewhere.

Methods to Get Rid of Starlings at Bird Feeders

Discover effective strategies to keep starlings away from your bird feeders! In this section, we’ll explore a range of methods that can help deter these pesky birds. From removing attractants to modifying the feeding area, we’ll uncover practical techniques to minimize the presence of starlings. We’ll also discuss the use of deterrents, employing scare tactics, and the benefits of collaborating with others in managing starling populations. Say goodbye to unwanted visitors and create a haven for the birds you truly wish to attract!

1. Remove Attractants

To effectively discourage starlings from accessing your bird feeders, it is important to follow these steps:

  1. Store your bird food in sealed containers to prevent any odors that may attract starlings.
  2. Regularly clean up any spilled birdseed and fallen debris around the feeding area to eliminate potential food sources.
  3. Get rid of other sources of food, such as garbage or compost piles, as they may entice starlings.
  4. Avoid using suet or seed blends that contain ingredients like corn, milo, or cracked corn, as these are preferred by starlings.
  5. Select feeders specifically designed to discourage starlings, such as those with weight-activated perches or mesh spacing too small for starlings to access.
  6. Consider using feeders with adjustable features that allow you to control the size of birds accessing the food.
  7. Place feeders in locations that are difficult for starlings to reach, such as hanging them from high branches or using baffles to prevent access.
  8. Ensure that the feeding area is not too open or exposed, as starlings prefer open spaces and may be discouraged by more hidden or sheltered locations.

By diligently following these steps to remove attractants, you can effectively deter starlings from your bird feeders, creating a more desirable feeding environment for other bird species.

2. Modify Feeding Area

  1. Modify the feeding area: When dealing with a starling infestation at bird feeders, one effective solution is to modify the feeding area. Here are steps to achieve this:
  2. Use selective feeders: Choose feeders that are designed to attract specific bird species while deterring starlings. These feeders often have smaller openings or perches that are more suitable for smaller birds.
  3. Adjust the feeder design: Make modifications to the feeder to make it less accessible to starlings. For example, you can add baffles or cages around the feeder to prevent larger birds from accessing the food.

By implementing these steps, you can create a modified feeding area that is less attractive to starlings, allowing other bird species to thrive.

3. Use Deterrents

When dealing with starling infestation at bird feeders, using deterrents can be an effective method to discourage their presence. Here are some steps to utilize deterrents:

  • Visual deterrents: Placing shiny objects, reflective surfaces, or predator decoys near the bird feeders can help scare away starlings. They are sensitive to movement and unfamiliar objects.
  • Sound deterrents: Installing wind chimes, ultrasonic devices, or playing predator bird calls can create unpleasant noises for starlings and make them feel threatened.
  • Physical deterrents: Using physical barriers like netting or wire mesh to cover the bird feeders can prevent starlings from accessing the food. Spikes or deterrent strips can also deter them from landing on feeder perches.

As for suggestions, it is important to regularly change the visual deterrents’ position or appearance to avoid habituation by starlings. Selecting sound deterrents that specifically target starlings’ hearing range can increase their effectiveness. The physical deterrents should be properly installed and regularly checked for any damages or gaps that may allow starlings to bypass them. Combining multiple types of deterrents can enhance their effectiveness and increase the chances of successfully deterring starlings from bird feeders.

4. Employ Scare Tactics

  1. Use scare tactics to deter starlings at bird feeders. Here are some strategies you can employ:
  2. Visual Scare Tactics: Hang reflective objects like CDs or aluminum foil strips near the bird feeder. The flashing light and movement will discourage starlings from approaching.
  3. Auditory Scare Tactics: Play recordings of predator bird calls or distress calls of other bird species that starlings fear. This will make them believe there is danger nearby and discourage their presence.

A useful tip to enhance the effectiveness of scare tactics is to regularly change the visual or auditory stimuli. Starlings quickly adapt, so the element of surprise will help maintain their effectiveness.

5. Collaborate with Others

  1. Collaborate with local birding groups or wildlife organizations. By connecting with others who share your concerns, you can exchange information, tips, and strategies to effectively deal with starling infestations at bird feeders.
  2. Share your experiences and observations with fellow bird enthusiasts. By discussing your findings, you can gain insights into successful methods that others have used to discourage starlings from bird feeders through collaboration.
  3. Participate in community initiatives. Work with local authorities, bird clubs, or environmental organizations to organize workshops or educational events specifically focused on starling control. This collaborative effort can help raise awareness and inspire collective action.
  4. Contribute to citizen science projects. By actively participating in projects that monitor starlings and their behaviors, you can provide valuable data that contributes to the development of effective control strategies, all through collaboration with others.
  5. Engage with experts and professionals. Seek advice from wildlife biologists, ornithologists, or pest control specialists who have experience dealing with starling infestations. They can provide guidance and offer practical solutions tailored to your specific situation through collaborative efforts.

Collaborating with others is crucial in combatting starling infestations, as collective efforts and shared knowledge can lead to more successful outcomes.

Preventive Measures to Avoid Starling Infestation

  • Employ selective feeding: Opt for feeders designed to discourage larger birds, such as starlings. Effective options include tube feeders with small feeding ports or mesh feeders that only grant access to small birds.
  • Install baffles: Attach baffles above or below the bird feeder to block starlings from accessing it. These barriers make perching or reaching the food difficult for them.
  • Modify feeding times: Starlings are primarily early morning feeders. Adjusting the timing of when you fill your bird feeder may help you avoid attracting them.
  • Offer alternative food sources: Provide alternative food sources like fruit or suet specifically for starlings, away from your bird feeder. This can redirect their attention and decrease their presence at the feeder.
  • Regular cleaning: Ensure that your bird feeders and the surrounding area are kept clean. Leftover food or debris can lure starlings and other unwanted pests.

Remember, different preventive measures may work better depending on the situation. Experiment with various strategies to find the ones that are most effective in your specific area and circumstances. By implementing these preventive measures, you can create a welcoming feeding environment for smaller birds while minimizing starling infestation.

Some Facts About How Does One Get Rid Of Starlings At Their Bird Feeders:

  • ✅ Starlings are invasive and aggressive birds that can cause damage to yards and disrupt residents with their loud shrieks. (Source: Bob Vila)
  • ✅ Starlings often scare away other birds and compete for food, as they travel in large flocks. (Source: The Spruce)
  • ✅ European Starlings were introduced in North America in 1890 and have out-competed native bird species. (Source: Bird Watching HQ)
  • ✅ Restrictive feeders with mesh cages or short perches can exclude starlings while allowing other bird species to access food. (Source: The Spruce)
  • ✅ Choosing food that starlings don’t like, such as nyjer seed, safflower seed, nectar, and whole peanuts, can discourage them at bird feeders. (Source: Bird Watching HQ)

Frequently Asked Questions

How does one get rid of starlings at their bird feeders?

Starlings can be a nuisance at bird feeders, but there are strategies to deter them:

What are some recommended bird feeder tactics to keep starlings away?

To keep starlings away from your bird feeders, you can try these tactics:

Why are starlings considered an invasive species?

Starlings are considered an invasive species because:

Can starlings harm other bird species?

Yes, starlings can harm other bird species. They are aggressive towards other birds and can scare them away from feeders.

What are some other food options that starlings don’t like?

Some food options that starlings don’t like include:

Should I consult a professional wildlife removal specialist?

If you are facing a significant starling problem, it may be wise to consult a professional wildlife removal specialist. They can provide expert advice and assistance in removing starlings from your property.

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.