How To Keep Starlings Off My Bird Feeder

How To Keep Starlings Off My Bird Feeder

Starlings can be a real nuisance when it comes to bird feeders. These pesky birds will try their best to snatch away the food you’ve set out for your feathered friends. Don’t worry though, there are ways to keep starlings away.

If you want to deter starlings, choose the right type of bird feeder. Look for feeders with protective features like adjustable perches or weight-sensitive systems. This way smaller birds like finches and sparrows can still get to the food, but starlings won’t.

Another good strategy is to provide multiple feeding stations with different types of bird feeders, specifically designed for certain species. Starlings are less likely to take over a feeding area that doesn’t suit their preferences. Offer different selections like tube feeders, suet feeders, or mesh bags filled with nyjer seeds. This way you can create an inviting environment tailored to your desired birds.

The type of bird feeder is important, but placement is key too. Hang the feeder away from trees or structures, where starlings can easily perch. Position it near dense shrubbery or plants, which provide shelter for smaller birds, but make it harder for larger birds to maneuver.

Understanding the threat of starlings to bird feeders

Starlings are a potential menace to bird feeders, thanks to their aggressive tendencies and abundance. They can take control of the feeder, blocking other birds from reaching it and depleting the food supply fast.

This can result in:

  • Loss of food for other birds
  • Damage to the feeder
  • Greater risk of disease

Furthermore, starlings have special abilities that make them skilled at accessing bird feeders. Their sharp bills can crack open seeds with ease, and they’re great at hanging upside down to get to the food inside special feeders.

For best results, use feeders with tiny openings to keep starlings away and only let smaller birds get to the food.

Identifying the signs of starling infestation

Starlings have a bad rep for being a nuisance at bird feeders, leaving bird-lovers angered. If you spot any of these signs, it’s likely a starling infestation is afoot.

  • Feeder overflowing: Starlings tend to gather in big groups, making feeders overcrowded.
  • Seed disappearing: They have huge appetites and can empty a feeder quickly, leaving nothing for other birds.
  • Noisy atmosphere: Starlings are known for their loud chirping and squawking, creating a loud environment.
  • Feeders damaged: These clever birds can hang from or peck at feeders, leading to destruction.
  • Aggressive behavior: They can be territorial and aggressive to smaller birds, taking over the feeding area.

It’s important to note other features when dealing with starling infestations. Knowing their traits can help you manage the situation.

When you face a starling infestation:

  • Specialized feeders: Choose feeders with small perches or mesh openings to stop starlings from accessing the food.
  • Selective seed types: Select seeds that appeal to specific birds but not starlings, like safflower or nyjer seeds.
  • Barriers: Put protective cages or baffles around feeders to keep starlings away while allowing smaller birds to eat.
  • Feeding times: Set feeding schedules that don’t coincide with starling activity so they don’t take over the feeder.
  • Scare tactics: Place scarecrows, wind chimes, or reflective objects near the feeder to stop starlings from coming close.

By following these tips, you can better manage starling infestations at your bird feeders. Understanding their actions and using deterrents allows other birds to thrive, while keeping these unwelcome visitors away.

The importance of keeping starlings off bird feeders

Bird feeders are a great attraction for many feathered friends, but when starlings crash the party, they can be a real nuisance. These unwelcome guests scare away other species and guzzle up all the bird seed, leaving nothing for the intended guests. To ensure a harmonious and balanced ecosystem, starlings must be kept away from bird feeders.

  • Curb overpopulation: Starlings reproduce quickly and form huge flocks. Keeping them off bird feeders helps minimize their numbers.
  • Preserve native species: Starlings hog resources, leaving little food for other birds. By keeping them away, other species can thrive.
  • Safeguard biodiversity: A wide variety of bird species enriches our environment and helps keep it healthy. Limiting starling access to feeders helps preserve this diversity.
  • Decrease disease transmission: Crowded bird feeders can become a hotbed of disease. Reducing starling access can reduce the spread of illnesses among birds.

To prevent starlings from taking over bird feeders, we must implement strategies that won’t hurt other birds:

  • Specialized feeders: Use feeder designs that prevent larger birds like starlings from accessing the food. Cages or mesh covers can let smaller birds in, while keeping out the intruders.
  • Varied food: Starlings have certain food preferences; offering food they don’t like can keep them away. Try seed mixes with safflower or nyjer seeds.
  • Timed feeding: Establish set feeding times during periods when starlings are less active, like early morning or late afternoon. This way, other birds can still eat.
  • Alternative feeding areas: Place additional feeders or ground-level food sources to distract starlings away from the main feeder.

Creating a starling-free environment that encourages other bird species is essential. By following these strategies, we can enjoy watching a variety of birds without disrupting the delicate ecological balance.

Step-by-step instructions on how to keep starlings off bird feeders

Starlings can be pesky at bird feeders, but don’t fear! There are ways to keep them away. Follow these steps for a peaceful feeding area for your feathered friends:

  1. Choose the right feeder. Get one with small openings or access points that make it hard for starlings to reach the food.
  2. Adjust the height. Put it at 4-5 feet, making it difficult for starlings to land.
  3. Add baffles or cones. Above and below the feeder pole so starlings can’t get to the feeder.
  4. Use unappealing seeds. Starlings have preferences. Black oil sunflower seeds and suet are less attractive.
  5. Use decoy techniques. Hang shiny objects like aluminum foil strips, old CDs, or reflective tape. The movement and glimmer will discourage starlings.
  6. Offer alternative feeders. Designed for larger birds like starlings to divert their attention away from the main feeders.

Clean the feeders and surroundings regularly. Debris and leftovers attract starlings.

Did you know? Playing recorded distress calls of starlings signals danger in their language and deters them.

An innovative setup with swinging perches and anti-starling devices successfully prevented starlings from monopolizing a feeder, allowing smaller birds to eat undisturbed.

So put these strategies into action to get rid of pesky starlings at your bird feeder!

Frequently asked questions about keeping starlings away from bird feeders

Starlings can be pesky around bird feeders. Here are some questions about keeping them away:

  1. Can starlings hurt other birds?
  2. Yes, they can stop smaller birds from eating.

  3. What attracts starlings to feeders?
  4. High-energy foods like suet, peanuts, and sunflower seeds.

  5. How can I stop starlings at my feeder?
  6. Use bird feeders that have small perches and feeding ports. Starlings can’t access them.

  7. Are there natural deterrents?
  8. Yes, shiny objects and reflective surfaces may work. Planting thorny bushes or trees nearby could help too.

  9. Should I remove the feeder?
  10. If starlings are too much, take the feeder down for a few days.

These methods may not always work. Starlings are smart and persistent. You may need to try different strategies to see what works.

Did you know? A study found that in the 19th century, Eugene Schieffelin released European Starlings in Central Park to fulfill all the birds mentioned in Shakespeare’s plays.


The starlings have met their nemesis! With the strategies in this article, you can keep them off your bird feeder. Here are some extra tips for success:

  1. Change the feeder’s location. Starlings hunt by sight, so hiding it from view will help. Put a baffle or cage around the feeder to keep them out.
  2. Provide a feeder with their preferred food away from the main feeder. That will distract them from visiting.
  3. Make your garden welcoming for native birds. Plant native plants and hang nesting boxes. Those birds will compete with starlings for resources.

Follow these tactics and stay persistent. Adapt as needed to make it unwelcoming for the starlings. Reclaim your bird feeding haven now!

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs: How To Keep Starlings Off My Bird Feeder

Q: Why are starlings a problem at bird feeders?

A: Starlings are known to be aggressive birds that often monopolize bird feeders, intimidating other bird species and consuming large quantities of food, leaving little for other birds.

Q: What are some effective ways to keep starlings away from my bird feeder?

A: 1. Use feeders with smaller openings that starlings cannot access.
2. Install a cage or dome guard around your bird feeder to keep starlings out.
3. Place your feeder near natural cover, such as trees or shrubs, so smaller birds feel safer and starlings are less likely to dominate.

Q: Can I use deterrents to discourage starlings?

A: Yes, there are various deterrents you can try, including:
1. Hanging shiny objects or strips of aluminum foil near the feeder to scare starlings away.
2. Placing a plastic owl or hawk silhouette nearby to deter starlings.
3. Playing recorded sounds of predator birds to create an environment starlings want to avoid.

Q: What types of bird feed are less appealing to starlings?

A: Starlings are attracted to grains, particularly sunflower seeds. To discourage starlings, avoid using feed that primarily consists of grains and instead opt for suet, nyjer (thistle) seeds, or safflower seeds, which starlings are less likely to eat.

Q: How important is cleanliness in reducing starling presence?

A: Keeping the bird feeding area clean is crucial. Regularly remove spilled seeds and clean the feeder to prevent food buildup and discourage starlings, as they prefer feeding where there is a ready food supply.

Q: Are there specific regulations for deterring starlings?

A: Yes, it is important to check local regulations regarding bird feeders and deterrents, as some methods may be prohibited or require permits. Make sure to comply with any guidelines or restrictions in your area.

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.