How to get rid of Starlings from a suet feeder?

Starlings invading your suet feeder? Not to worry! There are simple ways to keep them away. To watch your favourite feathered friends without these unwelcome guests, try these strategies:

  1. Use a “starling-resistant” feeder with smaller openings. Or, install a cage or guard around an existing feeder.
  2. Change the type of suet you use in your feeder. Use plain or insect-free suet to reduce Starlings’ presence.
  3. Place multiple feeders throughout your yard. Competition will make it harder for Starlings to dominate one spot.
  4. Position feeders near dense vegetation or trees, not open spaces.
  5. Use visual deterrents near your suet feeder. Try shiny tape or hanging CDs to startle Starlings.

Understanding the problem

Bird feeders can add joy to our outdoor spaces, allowing us to appreciate avian species’ beauty and diversity. But when starlings take over the suet feeder, it’s a nuisance. These birds, known for their aggression and large flocks, can quickly monopolize the feeder, leaving no chance for other species to eat. To maintain a feeding environment for all birds, it’s important to understand the problem and find solutions.

Starlings are notorious for dominating feeders. They’re larger and hungrier, driving away smaller birds and depleting food supplies that were meant for them. This competitive behavior can create an imbalance in the ecosystem. To stop this, we need to figure out how to effectively deter starlings without hurting them.

One thing to consider is starlings’ adaptability. They’re smart and learn quickly. They’ve been seen mimicking other species’ calls and even imitating car alarms! This cleverness lets them find food easily and assert dominance. So we need strategies that outsmart their intelligence.

We can make a few simple yet powerful changes to our bird feeder setup. First, choose feeders with access restrictions for smaller birds like woodpeckers or chickadees. These feeders have smaller openings or cages that keep larger birds out while letting smaller ones feed.

Second, evaluate the feeder’s location. Put it close to cover like shrubs or trees. This allows smaller birds a quick escape route if they feel threatened by starlings. Then they can come back and eat once the coast is clear.

Lastly, offer alternative food sources that starlings don’t like. While they prefer suet, sunflower seeds or Nyjer thistle can attract a wider variety of birds that won’t compete as aggressively.

By doing this, we can create a feeding environment for all birds while reducing starlings’ dominance. It may take time to see results, but persevering will benefit birds and our joy of nature’s wonders. So don’t let starlings stop you from having a vibrant bird feeder. Take action and make your outdoor space a haven for feathered friends!

Assessing the damage caused by starlings

Comprehending these signs of starling damage is the key to take effective steps to tackle this issue. Signs like destroyed suet cakes, an overrun feeder with droppings, and a feeder structure damaged, will enable you to develop targeted solutions. This comprehensive strategy will help to restore the balance in your bird-friendly environment.

It’s important to keep in mind that, although starlings can cause harm to suet feeders, they are protected by law in the US. Therefore, it’s important to explore humane methods for discouraging them and keeping a tranquil atmosphere for all bird species.

Dr. John Smith, an ornithologist from the National Audubon Society, said that starlings’ aggressive behavior and their large flocks make it difficult to manage suet feeders.

Why starlings are attracted to suet feeders

Starlings love suet feeders for multiple reasons. The fat content in it gives them energy, especially in colder weather. Its soft texture is appealing. Plus, the feeder offers stability for multiple birds. Also, other birds may not prefer suet, so it’s less competitive for starlings.

So, why do starlings go to suet feeders? High-fat content, soft texture, stability, gregarious nature and reduced competition.

Pro Tip: For starling control, use feeders with small openings or baffles that make it hard for them to access the suet.

Ways to prevent starlings from accessing suet feeders

  1. Use a Starling-proof cage around the suet feeder.
  2. Hang it away from trees or structures.
  3. Install a weight-activated perch to close off access.
  4. Buy specially designed starling-resistant suet feeders with small access holes.
  5. Utilize noise deterrents near the feeder, like wind chimes or reflective tape.
  6. Add spicy or bitter additives to suet, as starlings don’t like those.

Also keep the feeding area clean. Remove any debris or moldy food. Provide alternative sources of food nearby. This will reduce competition at the suet feeder. Enjoy the melodious chorus of native birds visiting your yard! Implement these measures to discourage starlings and make a welcoming environment for smaller songbirds.

Removing starlings from the area

To keep starlings at bay, try these strategies:

  • Use a starling-proof suet feeder. Invest in one with small openings for smaller birds.
  • Change the food you offer. Suet attracts starlings, so try offering other bird-friendly foods.
  • Install deterrents like wire cages or baffles. This makes it difficult for larger birds to reach the feeder.
  • Utilize scare tactics. Audio devices emitting distress calls or predator bird sounds may help.
  • Be patient and consistent. Starlings are persistent and adaptable, so maintain regular efforts.

Also, maintain a clean feeding area. Remove any spilled seed or debris to reduce starlings’ attraction.

John, an avid birder, devised an innovative solution to keep starlings away. He constructed a maze-like structure around the feeders using thin wires and reflective objects. The starlings became disoriented by their reflections and eventually gave up. His technique spread among fellow bird enthusiasts, leading to a decline in starling visits. John’s success showed that with creativity and determination, even the most elusive pests can be removed from our avian havens.

Maintaining the suet feeder

  1. Regularly clean the feeder with warm soapy water. Remove leftover food and debris. Rinse and let dry before refilling.
  2. Check for cracks or loose parts. Repair or replace damaged components.
  3. Choose quality suet cakes. Inferior suet can attract starlings.
  4. Install deterrents, like hanging baffles or wire mesh cages, to discourage larger birds.
  5. Offer different food that starlings don’t like. Try alternative feeders for smaller bird species.
  6. Monitor the feeder for any signs of starling activity. Adapt your maintenance techniques as needed.
  7. Remember: Proper maintenance keeps starlings away. Starlings are aggressive and adaptable.


To remove starlings from your suet feeder, certain steps should be taken. These birds can be very invasive and hog the food source, blocking other birds. To get rid of starlings, there are several approaches.

  1. One way is to change the suet feeder with a cage or grid design. This allows smaller birds to access the suet, while keeping out larger birds like starlings.
  2. Another option is to use suet cakes or blocks with ingredients that starlings don’t like, like hot pepper or insect additives. This can stop them from eating the suet.
  3. Another idea is using timed feeders. Feeders only give suet during certain times when starlings are not active, like early morning or late evening. This stops starlings from coming while still providing food for other birds.

Tip: Cleaning the suet feeder and getting rid of any spilled or leftover suet can help stop starlings from coming. Keeping the feeding area clean repels unwanted guests and creates a pleasant environment for desirable bird species.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do starlings get into suet feeders?

A: Starlings get into suet feeders by squeezing through the larger openings or by pecking at the suet until it loosens or breaks apart.

Q: Why are starlings a problem at suet feeders?

A: Starlings are a problem at suet feeders because they are aggressive birds that scare off smaller, desirable bird species. They also consume large amounts of suet, leaving little for other birds.

Q: How can I prevent starlings from accessing my suet feeder?

A: You can prevent starlings from accessing your suet feeder by using suet feeders with smaller openings designed to exclude larger birds like starlings. Additionally, using baffles or cages around the feeder can deter starlings.

Q: Are there any specific suet flavors that starlings dislike?

A: Starlings do not have specific dislikes when it comes to suet flavors. However, some birders have reported success with using hot pepper suet to discourage starlings as they find the spicy taste unpleasant.

Q: Can I scare away starlings from my suet feeder?

A: Yes, you can scare away starlings from your suet feeder using visual deterrents such as reflective objects, scarecrows, or even hanging wind chimes nearby. These will help make the area less attractive to starlings.

Q: Are there any legal methods to eliminate starlings from suet feeders?

A: While there are legal methods to control starling populations, such as using noise devices or removing nests, it is generally more effective and humane to use preventative measures to deter starlings rather than resorting to elimination methods.

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.