How To Get Rid Of Starlings But Not Other Birds

How To Get Rid Of Starlings But Not Other Birds

Starlings can be a nuisance for many homeowners due to their damaging behavior and aggressive nature. However, it’s important to find solutions that target starlings specifically without causing harm to other bird species. Understanding the reasons why you want to get rid of starlings, such as property damage and aggressive behavior, is crucial in finding effective methods for deterrence. In this article, we will explore various methods to deter starlings, including physical, visual, and sound deterrents. We will discuss how to protect other bird species by providing alternative nesting sites, offering bird-preferred food sources, and creating bird-friendly landscapes. By implementing these strategies, you can successfully resolve the issue of starlings while ensuring the safety and well-being of other birds in your area.

Key takeaway:

  • Why Do You Want to Get Rid of Starlings?
    • Damage to Property: Starlings can cause damage to buildings, roofs, and property due to their nesting habits and acidic droppings.
    • Aggressive Behavior: Starlings can display aggressive behavior towards other bird species, leading to potential harm or displacement of native birds.
  • Methods to Deter Starlings:
    • Physical Deterrents: Implementing physical barriers, such as bird netting or spikes, can help prevent starlings from accessing areas they may cause damage to or pose a threat.
    • Visual Deterrents: Using visual deterrents like scare devices or reflective objects can help deter starlings from settling in unwanted areas.
    • Sound Deterrents: Utilizing sound deterrents, such as predator calls or distress signals, can discourage starlings from roosting or nesting in specific locations.
  • Protecting Other Birds:
    • Providing Alternative Nesting Sites: Offer suitable nesting boxes or structures for other bird species to discourage starlings from taking over their preferred habitats.
    • Offering Bird-Preferred Food Sources: Providing specific foods favored by non-aggressive bird species can attract them to separate feeding areas, reducing competition with starlings.
    • Creating Bird-Friendly Landscapes: Designing landscapes with diverse vegetation and water sources can attract and support a variety of bird species, encouraging their presence and reducing starling dominance.

Why Do You Want to Get Rid of Starlings?

Starlings can be quite a nuisance, but have you ever wondered why you would want to get rid of them specifically? In this section, we’ll uncover the reasons behind your desire to part ways with these birds. From the damage they can cause to your property to their aggressive behavior, we’ll explore the various aspects that make starlings a target for removal. Prepare to discover the motivations behind your quest to bid farewell to these feathery neighbors.

Damage to Property

Starlings can cause significant damage to property. They often gather in large numbers, creating noise and mess. The acidic droppings of starlings can erode building materials and paint, leading to costly repairs. They may create nests in chimneys, vents, or gutters, resulting in blockages and potential fire hazards. Starlings have been known to damage crops and gardens, impacting agricultural production and personal landscapes.

One example of the damage caused by starlings occurred in 2019 in Owatonna, Minnesota. A large flock of starlings roosted in a commercial building’s attic, causing extensive damage to the insulation, wiring, and air conditioning system. This resulted in a repair cost of over $50,000. The incident served as a reminder of the importance of taking preventive measures to deter starlings and protect property.

By implementing physical deterrents such as netting, spikes, or fences, property owners can minimize the access points for starlings to buildings and structures. These measures greatly reduce the risk of damage to property. Visual deterrents like reflective materials, scarecrows, and predator decoys can also discourage starlings from approaching certain areas, thereby preventing property damage. Sound deterrents such as distress calls or ultrasonic devices can further deter starlings from nesting or roosting, mitigating the potential for damage to property.

Taking proactive steps to protect property from starling damage is essential in maintaining the structural integrity of buildings and preventing costly repairs. Property owners should prioritize the prevention of damage to property caused by starlings, as it can save them significant financial burdens in the long run.

Aggressive Behavior

  • Starlings are well-known for their aggressive behavior towards other bird species.

  • They often engage in competition with smaller birds for food and nesting sites.

  • Starlings may intimidate and chase away other birds, thus preventing them from accessing necessary resources.

  • Their aggressive behavior has the potential to disrupt the ecosystem balance by altering the dynamics of bird populations.

  • If left unaddressed, starlings can dominate a specific area, resulting in reduced diversity of bird species.

  • In their pursuit of resources, starlings may also cause damage to birdhouses and nests belonging to other bird species.

  • The aggressive behavior exhibited by starlings can lead to stress and injury among other bird species.

  • It is crucial to take measures to tackle starling aggression in order to protect the well-being and survival of other bird populations.

  • By implementing deterrent methods, it is possible to reduce starling aggression and create a more harmonious community of birds.

Methods to Deter Starlings

Tackling the invasion of starlings can be quite a challenge, but fear not, for we have an arsenal of methods to deter these pesky birds. In this section, we’ll explore three effective approaches to keep starlings at bay: physical deterrents, visual deterrents, and sound deterrents. Get ready to discover the tactics that will help reclaim your space from these persistent avian invaders. No more unwelcome guests!

Physical Deterrents

When it comes to deterring starlings, physical deterrents can be an effective solution. Here are some options to consider:

  1. Netting: Installing nets over areas where starlings gather can prevent them from accessing the space.
  2. Spikes: Placing spikes in areas where starlings roost can make it uncomfortable for them to perch, discouraging their presence.
  3. Fences: Erecting a fence can create a barrier, preventing starlings from entering an area.

These physical deterrents work by creating obstacles that deter starlings from landing, roosting, or nesting in certain areas. Installing netting, adding spikes, or erecting fences can effectively keep starlings away from properties or specific locations where their presence is unwanted.

It is important to note that these physical deterrents should be used in conjunction with other methods to achieve the best results in deterring starlings. By employing a combination of strategies, such as visual and sound deterrents, it is possible to create an environment that is less appealing to starlings while protecting other bird species.

Visual Deterrents

Visual deterrents are highly effective methods for deterring starlings from nesting or roosting in unwanted areas. Consider these options for effectively deterring starlings:

1. Reflective materials: Starlings can be deterred by shiny surfaces that reflect light, causing them to become disoriented. Hanging reflective tape or strips of aluminum foil can successfully repel starlings.

2. Scarecrows: While traditionally used to scare birds away in fields, scarecrows can also be successful at deterring starlings. These human-like figures create the illusion of a potential threat, discouraging starlings from approaching.

3. Predator decoys: Placing decoys of natural predators like owls or hawks can create a sense of danger for starlings. This visual cue makes them cautious and less likely to remain in the area.

It’s crucial to note that visual deterrents work best when combined with other methods, such as physical or sound deterrents. By regularly changing the positions or designs of visual deterrents, starlings won’t become accustomed to them.

To ensure the effectiveness of visual deterrents, carefully assess your specific situation and consider the habits and behavior of starlings in your area. Experiment with various visual deterrents and monitor their effectiveness. Always prioritize humane methods that do not harm the birds.

By incorporating visual deterrents along with other strategies, you can create an environment that is less appealing to starlings while protecting the well-being of other bird species.

Sound Deterrents

Using sound deterrents can be an efficient method to discourage starlings from inhabiting your property. Consider the following options:

  1. Introduce distress calls: By playing recorded distress calls of starlings, an unfavorable environment can be created, discouraging them from staying in the area.
  2. Utilize ultrasonic devices: These devices emit high-frequency sounds that are inaudible to humans but can be annoying for starlings. Placing ultrasonic devices in areas where starlings gather can effectively prevent their return.
  3. Hang wind chimes: The noise and movement of wind chimes can be bothersome to starlings. Hanging wind chimes near areas where starlings roost or gather can serve as a deterrence.

It is essential to note that although sound deterrents can be effective, they may not work under all circumstances. Starlings are intelligent birds and may eventually become accustomed to the sounds, thus ignoring them. Combining sound deterrents with other methods may be necessary to achieve optimal results in deterring starlings from your property.

Protecting Other Birds

In this section, we’ll discuss the importance of protecting other birds when seeking to get rid of starlings. Discover effective strategies and techniques to maintain a balance between controlling starling populations while safeguarding the well-being of other bird species. From providing alternative nesting sites to creating bird-friendly landscapes, we’ll explore practical ways to support and protect our feathered friends. Join us as we delve into the world of bird conservation and find harmony in coexistence.

Providing Alternative Nesting Sites

Providing alternative nesting sites is a highly effective approach to deter starlings from unwanted areas. By offering suitable nesting options, you can redirect their behavior towards more appropriate locations, simultaneously minimizing their impact on the unwanted spaces.

To implement this strategy, you have several options:

  1. Install specially designed nest boxes: Placing nest boxes that are specifically created for preferred bird species can attract them away from areas where starlings are causing trouble. These nest boxes should have entrance holes that are too small for starlings but suitable for other desirable bird species.
  2. Provide cavity trees: It is important to maintain mature trees with natural cavities or add artificial cavities to offer alternative nesting sites. These cavities should be suitable for birds like bluebirds or woodpeckers, as they are not favored by starlings.
  3. Build birdhouses: Constructing birdhouses that cater to specific bird species can create alternative nesting opportunities. It is crucial to ensure that the dimensions and features of the birdhouses are ideal for desired birds, making them less appealing for starlings.
  4. Enhance natural habitats: Create diverse and bird-friendly landscapes to encourage birds to nest in other areas. By planting native trees, shrubs, and flowers that provide food and shelter for desired bird species, these areas become more attractive for nesting.
  5. Remove enticing structures: Identify and eliminate any structures that may serve as attractive nesting sites for starlings, such as old barns or abandoned buildings. By eliminating these options, starlings will be more inclined to seek alternative locations.

By providing alternative nesting sites, you can effectively redirect starlings to areas where their presence is more beneficial while reducing their impact on unwanted locations.

Offering Bird-Preferred Food Sources

When it comes to deterring starlings and protecting other birds, offering bird-preferred food sources can be an effective strategy. Here are some ways to provide birds with the food they prefer:

Plant native plants: Native plants offer a variety of berries, seeds, and insects that birds naturally eat. By incorporating native plants into your landscape, you can provide a natural food source for birds.

Install bird feeders: Bird feeders filled with seeds, suet, or nectar can attract a wide range of bird species. Different types of feeders and food will attract different birds, so it’s important to offer a variety.

Create a bird-friendly garden: A well-designed garden with diverse plantings can attract a variety of insects, which are an important food source for many bird species. By cultivating a garden that supports insects, you are indirectly offering bird-preferred food sources.

Provide water sources: Birds need water for drinking and bathing. Installing bird baths or small ponds can attract birds to your garden, and they may find insects or other small creatures in the water as an additional food source.

Leave fallen fruits and berries: If you have fruit trees or berry bushes in your yard, allow fallen fruits and berries to remain on the ground. Many bird species will feed on these naturally occurring food sources.

By offering bird-preferred food sources, you can attract a diverse range of bird species to your yard and provide them with the sustenance they need.

Creating Bird-Friendly Landscapes

  • In order to create bird-friendly landscapes, there are numerous steps you can take to both attract birds and deter starlings. Here are some suggestions:

  • Consider planting native trees, shrubs, and flowers that offer a variety of food sources such as berries, seeds, and nectar. Not only will this attract a wide range of bird species, but it will also enhance the overall biodiversity of your landscape.

  • Add bird feeders and bird baths to provide additional sources of food and water. It is important to regularly clean these feeders and baths to prevent the spread of diseases.

  • Ensure that your landscape has different levels of vegetation, including tall trees, low-growing bushes, and groundcover, in order to provide diverse habitats for birds to nest and forage.

  • Consider providing nesting boxes or natural cavities specifically designed to exclude starlings while accommodating other bird species that nest in cavities.

  • Avoid the use of pesticides and herbicides that can harm birds and their food sources. Instead, seek out natural pest control methods and practice organic gardening.

  • Try to limit the use of artificial lighting at night, as it can disrupt bird migration patterns and confuse nesting birds.

  • Maintain a clean and tidy landscape by removing debris and clutter. This will discourage starlings from nesting and make your yard more appealing to other bird species.

By following these steps, you can create bird-friendly landscapes that will attract a variety of birds while minimizing the presence of starlings. It is important to remember that a diverse and healthy ecosystem benefits both the birds and your overall enjoyment of nature.

Some Facts About How To Get Rid Of Starlings But Not Other Birds:

  • ✅ Starlings are invasive and aggressive birds that can cause damage to yards and disrupt residents with their loud shrieks. (Source: Bob Vila)
  • ✅ Common tactics to get rid of starlings include removing food sources, decreasing nesting spots, using bird deterrents, and closing access points. (Source: Bob Vila)
  • ✅ It is advisable to consult a wildlife removal specialist for nest removal, as regulations may protect some birds. (Source: Bob Vila)
  • ✅ Pruning trees regularly can limit starlings’ roosting space, as they tend to build nests in easily accessible branches. (Source: Bob Vila)
  • ✅ Installing a starling-proof bird feeder with a cage around it can prevent larger animals or birds from accessing the seed inside. Using food options that starlings don’t like, such as in-shell peanuts or sunflower seeds, can also help deter them. (Source: Bob Vila)

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I resolve a starling problem in my backyard without affecting other birds?

To resolve a starling problem in your backyard without affecting other birds, you can take several steps:

  • Install a starling-proof bird feeder with a cage around it to prevent larger animals or birds from accessing the seed inside. Use food options that starlings don’t like, such as in-shell peanuts, sunflower seeds, or safflower seeds.
  • Prune trees regularly to limit starlings’ roosting space, as they tend to build nests in easily accessible branches.
  • Choose bird deterrents that specifically target starlings, such as visual scare devices or sound deterrents designed to deter starlings while being less effective on other bird species.

Why are starlings considered an invasive species in North America?

Starlings are considered an invasive species in North America because they were introduced in 1890 and have since out-competed native bird species. They travel in large flocks, taking over feeding stations and preventing other birds from accessing food. This disrupts the balance of the ecosystem and can have detrimental effects on native bird populations.

What are some foods that starlings dislike?

Starlings dislike foods with thick outer shells, such as whole peanuts. To deter starlings, you can choose foods they don’t enjoy eating, including in-shell peanuts, sunflower seeds, or safflower seeds. These food options are less attractive to starlings and more preferred by other bird species.

How can I humanely get rid of starlings in urban areas?

To humanely get rid of starlings in urban areas:

  • Remove nest material and patch any holes or openings that starlings may use for nesting.
  • Install scare tactics, such as visual deterrents or sound devices that specifically target starlings.
  • Consider using bird netting or spikes to restrict access to nesting spots.
  • Consult a professional wildlife removal specialist who specializes in bird control for comprehensive pest management solutions.

Are there any health risks associated with starlings?

Yes, there are health risks associated with starlings. Their droppings contain bacteria, parasites, and fungal agents that can pose health risks to humans. It is important to take precautions when dealing with starling infestations, such as using personal protective equipment and properly disposing of droppings and nest materials.

Do starlings cause damage to property?

Yes, starlings can cause damage to property. They are known for building nests in wall cavities, which can lead to clogged gutters and potential fire hazards if they nest in warm areas. Their droppings are corrosive and can damage buildings and other structures. Additionally, starlings can disrupt residents with their loud shrieks and create a nuisance in urban areas.

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.