How To Keep Crows And Starlings Away From Your Bird Feeder

How To Keep Crows And Starlings Away From Your Bird Feeder

Crows and starlings can be a nuisance at bird feeders, as they often dominate the feeding area and scare away smaller bird species. Keeping these larger birds away from your bird feeder is important for several reasons. When crows and starlings take over the feeding space, they can disrupt the natural feeding patterns of other birds and prevent them from getting the nutrition they need. these birds can be aggressive and may intimidate or harm smaller birds. Consequently, it is crucial to implement methods to deter crows and starlings from your bird feeder to preserve the feeding environment for a variety of bird species. In this article, we will explore the negative effects of crows and starlings at bird feeders and discuss effective techniques and common mistakes to avoid in order to keep them away.

– Keeping crows and starlings away from your bird feeder is important to maintain a healthy feeding environment for other bird species.
– Crows and starlings at bird feeders can have negative effects such as dominating the feeder, scaring away smaller birds, and spreading diseases.
– To keep crows and starlings away, choose the right type of bird feeder, use physical barriers, strategically place the bird feeder, use scare tactics, and provide alternative food sources.
– Common mistakes to avoid include using ineffective scare tactics and not regularly cleaning the bird feeder.

Why is it Important to Keep Crows and Starlings Away from Your Bird Feeder?

Why is it Important to Keep Crows and Starlings Away from Your Bird Feeder?

It is crucial to ensure that crows and starlings are kept away from your bird feeder due to the following reasons:

  1. Food competition: Crows and starlings are notorious for being aggressive birds that can intimidate smaller and more timid birds at your bird feeder. By deterring them, you guarantee that the food is accessible to the specific birds you wish to attract.
  2. Disease prevention: Crows and starlings may carry diseases that can be harmful to other birds. By preventing their access to your bird feeder, you reduce the risk of disease transmission within the bird population.
  3. Bird feeder damage: Crows and starlings, being larger and stronger birds, have the potential to cause damage to your bird feeder. They might tip it over or even break it, resulting in the loss of both food and the money invested in the feeder.

Pro-tip: To effectively deter crows and starlings from your bird feeder, consider using feeders with smaller openings that only allow access to smaller birds. Additionally, placing the feeder in a location that is difficult for larger birds to reach, such as hanging it from a high branch or utilizing baffles, can also be helpful in keeping unwanted birds away.

What Are the Negative Effects of Crows and Starlings at Bird Feeders?

Crows and starlings can have negative effects at bird feeders. They can be territorial and monopolize the food, preventing other birds from accessing it. This can lead to reduced diversity and lower numbers of native bird species visiting the feeders. Crows and starlings are also known for their aggressive behavior, intimidating smaller birds and causing them stress. Their large numbers can result in excessive seed consumption, leading to increased costs for bird enthusiasts.

What Are the Negative Effects of Crows and Starlings at Bird Feeders?

The presence of crows and starlings can disrupt the balance and harmony of a bird feeder ecosystem. They can scare away smaller and more delicate bird species, preventing them from accessing food and affecting their overall well-being. The aggression and dominance displayed by these birds can discourage other birds from visiting the feeder, resulting in a less vibrant and diverse bird population in the area.

To mitigate the negative effects of crows and starlings at bird feeders, several strategies can be implemented. These include using physical barriers such as cages or weighted perches that only allow smaller birds to access the food. Implementing scare tactics like visual deterrents or noise makers can also discourage crows and starlings from frequenting the area. Providing alternative food sources away from bird feeders can help divert their attention. Selective feeding methods like using small seeds or specific feeders that cater to certain bird species can also help reduce the dominance of crows and starlings.

By implementing these strategies, bird enthusiasts can create a more balanced and diverse bird feeding environment, enhancing the overall experience for both birds and humans alike.

Methods to Keep Crows and Starlings Away

Tired of pesky crows and starlings invading your bird feeder? Discover effective methods to thwart their attempts and protect the peace at your bird feeder oasis. From selecting the right type of bird feeder to strategic placement and implementing scare tactics, we’ll explore a range of techniques to keep these feathered troublemakers at bay. We’ll delve into the importance of offering alternative food sources as a diversion for these crafty birds. Get ready to defend your bird feeder and ensure your feathered friends have a safe haven to enjoy their meals.

1. Choosing the Right Type of Bird Feeder

When it comes to choosing the right type of bird feeder to keep crows and starlings away, consider the following options:

  • Select feeders with small openings or those specifically designed for selective feeding. This will prevent larger birds like crows and starlings from accessing the food.
  • Upside-down feeders are effective at deterring larger birds, as they are not able to cling onto them. This allows smaller, desirable birds to feed undisturbed.
  • Weighted perch feeders can also be used, as they require birds to have a certain weight or size to access the food.
  • Consider using suet feeders with cage openings that only smaller, slender-beaked birds can fit through. This will make it more difficult for larger birds to access the suet.
  • Opt for feeders with counter weights to help prevent crows and starlings from accessing them. These feeders are designed to close when heavier birds land on them.

By choosing the right type of bird feeder, you can effectively deter crows and starlings while still providing food for smaller, native birds.

Interestingly, bird feeding has a long history that dates back to ancient times. In the Middle Ages, falconry became a popular sport among the nobility, and birds of prey were an important part of these pursuits. Over time, people began to provide food for these birds to ensure their loyalty and hunting abilities. This practice eventually expanded to include the feeding of songbirds, leading to the development of bird feeders as we know them today.

2. Using Physical Barriers

When it comes to keeping crows and starlings away from your bird feeder, utilizing physical barriers can be a highly effective method. Here are some steps you can follow to achieve this:

  1. Opt for a bird feeder with built-in barriers: Look for feeders that are specifically designed to prevent crows and starlings from accessing the food. For instance, the erva starling proof suet feeder features a cage-like design that only permits smaller birds to reach the food.
  2. Create a dense and cluttered feeding area: Enhance your bird feeder surroundings by incorporating shrubs, bushes, or other plants. This will make it more challenging for larger birds like crows and starlings to land and obtain the food.
  3. Eliminate other attractants: Keep your feeding area clean by getting rid of spilled birdseed and any other potential food sources that might draw crows and starlings. This will help deter them from approaching your feeder.
  4. Try upside-down feeders: Up the difficulty for crows and starlings by utilizing feeders designed to be upside-down. These feeders require birds to cling onto the bottom to access the food, which proves challenging for larger birds.
  5. Create physical obstacles: Surround your feeder with wire mesh or netting to establish a barrier that prevents crows and starlings from reaching the food. Ensure that the openings in the mesh are small enough to keep these birds out, while still allowing smaller birds to access the food.

By incorporating these physical barriers, you can effectively discourage crows and starlings from approaching your bird feeder, thus allowing smaller and native bird species to peacefully enjoy the food.

3. Implementing Bird Feeder Location Strategies

When it comes to implementing bird feeder location strategies, there are several steps you can take:

  1. Choose a quiet and secluded location for your bird feeder. This will help reduce the presence of crows and starlings, as they prefer more open and populated areas.
  2. Place the feeder at least 10-15 feet away from trees or any other objects that could provide easy access for crows and starlings to reach the food.
  3. Hang the feeder at a height that is difficult for crows and starlings to access. Opt for a height of at least 6 feet from the ground.
  4. Consider using baffle devices or squirrel-proofing mechanisms to deter crows and starlings from reaching the feeder. This can include placing a dome-shaped baffle above the feeder or using feeders with weight-activated perches.
  5. Regularly clean the area around the feeder to remove any fallen seeds or food debris. This can help prevent attracting crows and starlings.

Pro-tip: To further discourage crows and starlings, try using selective feeding techniques such as offering nyjer seeds that are loved by finches but are less appealing to larger birds like crows and starlings.

4. Using Scare Tactics

When it comes to keeping crows and starlings away from your bird feeder, using scare tactics can be effective. Here are some natural methods you can incorporate:

  1. Visual deterrents: Hang shiny objects like CDs or aluminum foil strips near your bird feeder. The reflection and movement will naturally scare away these birds.
  2. Noise makers: Place wind chimes or bells near the feeder. The natural sound they produce will startle crows and starlings, making them hesitant to approach.
  3. Predator decoys: Enhance your bird feeder area by placing a plastic owl or hawk statue. Crows and starlings are naturally wary of these predators and will naturally avoid the area.
  4. Water scarecrow: Install a motion-activated sprinkler near the feeder. The sudden burst of water will naturally startle the birds and deter them from returning.
  5. Ultrasonic devices: You can also consider using ultrasonic devices that emit high-frequency sounds. These sounds are naturally unpleasant to crows and starlings while being inaudible to humans.

Remember, it’s important to periodically rotate and change scare tactics, as crows and starlings can become accustomed to them. By utilizing a combination of these natural scare tactics, you can effectively keep these birds away from your bird feeder. Happy bird watching!

5. Providing Alternative Food Sources

When trying to keep crows and starlings away from your bird feeder, providing alternative food sources can be an effective strategy. By offering them different food options, you can help divert their attention away from your bird feeder. Here are some alternative food sources to consider:

  • House sparrows and starlings are universally hated by bird enthusiasts, so discouraging them from visiting your feeder can be achieved by providing food that they dislike. For instance, blue jays prefer nyjer seeds over other types of bird food.
  • To attract selective feeding birds, consider offering different types of suet. You can experiment with suet containing extra ingredients like fruits or insects, as this appeals to a wider range of bird species.
  • Shakespeare’s plays employ seasonal tactics to deter crows and starlings. During the winter, you can provide small seeds like millet and canary seeds, which are less appealing to these birds.
  • Instead of attracting crows and starlings, hidden suet feeders can entice birds with slender beaks, such as woodpeckers and nuthatches.

Creating a more diverse feeding environment and attracting a wider variety of bird species to your yard, while deterring crows and starlings from monopolizing your bird feeder, can be achieved by providing alternative food sources.

In Central Park, an interesting phenomenon occurred when residents started using peanut chips as an alternative food source for birds. While this tactic did attract a multitude of birds, it also captured the attention of squirrels. These crafty animals quickly learned how to open bird feeders and began raiding the peanut chips. In response, some residents began securing their feeders inside metal garbage cans, employing a counterweight system to make it challenging for squirrels to access the feeder. This solution not only kept the squirrels away but also ensured a safe and plentiful food source for the birds. Today, many bird enthusiasts in North America adopt a similar method to provide alternative food sources while keeping crows, starlings, and squirrels away from their bird feeders.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • Leaving food scraps around the bird feeder: This can attract not only crows and starlings but also other unwanted pests. Make sure to clean up any spilled birdseed or food regularly to avoid attracting these birds.
  • Using a non-secure bird feeder: Crows and starlings are known to be clever and resourceful birds. If your bird feeder is not secure or has gaps in it, they will find a way to access the food. Invest in a sturdy, squirrel-proof feeder to keep them out.
  • Using the wrong type of birdseed: Some birdseed mixes contain ingredients that crows and starlings prefer, such as corn or peanuts. Avoid using these in your bird feeder to discourage them from visiting. Opt for seed mixes that are more appealing to smaller birds.
  • Not having enough perches for smaller birds: Crows and starlings are larger birds that prefer open spaces. By providing perches or adding baffles to your feeder, you can make it more difficult for them to access the food. This will encourage smaller birds to visit instead.

True story: One day, a bird enthusiast made the mistake of leaving food scraps near their bird feeder. They noticed that crows and starlings started to visit frequently, scaring away smaller birds. After cleaning up the area and using a secure feeder, smaller birds returned, bringing color and joy back to their backyard. Remembering to avoid Common Mistakes to Avoid can make a significant difference in attracting the right birds to your feeder.

Some Facts About How To Keep Crows And Starlings Away From Your Bird Feeder:

  • ✅ Crows and starlings can be a challenge to keep away from bird feeders. (Source: Our Team)
  • ✅ The use of starling-proof or resistant feeders can make it difficult for starlings to access the food. (Source: Our Team)
  • ✅ Placing feeders under a squirrel baffle or using starling-proof suet feeders can deter starlings from consuming all the suet. (Source: Our Team)
  • ✅ Selective feeding with safflower or nyjer seeds can attract desirable birds while deterring crows and starlings. (Source: Our Team)
  • ✅ Using feeders with perches above the food ports can deter bully birds like starlings from dominating the bird feeder. (Source: Our Team)

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I prevent starlings from taking over my bird feeders?

One strategy is to use starling-proof or resistant suet feeders, such as upside-down suet feeders that make it difficult for starlings to eat. Another option is to use suet feeders surrounded by a cage, which allows smaller birds to access the suet while keeping out larger birds like starlings. Using plain suet without additional ingredients like cracked corn or peanut chips can also deter starlings, although some other birds may not prefer plain suet.

How do I thicken out the seed feeders to discourage starlings?

Switching to larger seeds can deter starlings, as their beaks are not well-suited for cracking larger, thick-shelled seeds. However, starlings are still willing to search through seed in a platform feeder to find cracked seeds. To discourage starlings on seed feeders, you can use feeders with smaller perches or use a cage around the feeder to limit access.

What can I do to get rid of starlings at my backyard bird feeders?

There are several strategies you can try. Using starling-proof suet feeders or hanging suet feeders under a domed squirrel baffle can deter starlings from eating all the suet. Placing a garbage can under a hanging feeder can prevent bully birds like starlings from eating the food that other birds drop on the ground. Selective feeding, offering safflower or nyjer seeds instead of wild bird seed mixes, can attract only desirable birds. Using tube feeders with perches above the food ports can deter bully birds, as they usually require a perch to eat.

How can I protect my bird feeders from European starlings?

You can try using cage feeders or cage suet feeders to prevent starlings from dominating your feeders. Another option is to offer different suet to discourage starlings while still attracting other suet-eating birds. Additionally, using weighted perches or baffle poles on your feeders can make it more challenging for starlings to access the food.

What are some temporary solutions for keeping crows and starlings away from my bird feeders?

If crows and starlings are causing problems at your feeders, you can try playing loud music or using other noise deterrents near the feeding station. This may help in temporarily discouraging these birds from visiting your feeders.

Is there a winter strategy to keep crows and starlings away from my bird feeders?

During winter, when food sources are scarce, it may be more challenging to keep crows and starlings away from your feeders. However, you can try using bird feeders with weighted perches or other deterrents, such as rubber-coated mesh or squirrel buster feeders, to make it more difficult for these birds to access 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.