How To Keep Starlings Out Of Birdhouses

How To Keep Starlings Out Of Birdhouses

Starlings can be a real nuisance when they take over birdhouses meant for other species. To keep them away, you must adjust the size of the entrance hole to 1.25 inches in diameter. A baffle or predator guard on the pole or post can also help.

Providing alternative housing options specifically designed for starlings can help too. These houses have larger entrance holes and materials that discourage other birds from nesting within them.

Creating an environment that appeals to desired birds is another way to prevent starling interference. Provide food sources like suet feeders and birdbaths with small perching areas. Plant vegetation around the birdhouses that attracts smaller avian species.

By following these measures, starlings can be kept away without causing harm. Respect all inhabitants of your backyard sanctuary for a balanced ecosystem.

Understanding Starlings and their Impact on Birdhouses

Starlings are notorious birds that can cause havoc in birdhouses. They displace native birds and cause damage to houses which can be costly to repair.

To tackle this issue, install birdhouses with smaller entrances. Starlings have large bodies, making it hard for them to enter restricted spaces. Measure the dimensions correctly and select an appropriate diameter which allows desirable species in but not starlings.

Employ predator guards. These barriers let smaller birds in but prevent starlings from entering. A metal plate or plastic shield attached near the hole will do the trick.

Regularly monitor birdhouses to detect potential starling invasions early. This allows us to remove any nests constructed by them before they cause harm.

Also practice good hygiene by cleaning out old nests. This will deter starlings from targeting specific locations repeatedly.

Respect nature’s balance when dealing with starlings. Don’t resort to harmful methods such as trapping or poisoning. Creating an environment that is less inviting for starlings is more effective and sustainable.

By using these suggestions and understanding their impact, we can ensure that our beloved birdhouses remain safe havens.

Why It’s Important to Keep Starlings Out of Birdhouses

It is essential to keep starlings away from birdhouses. Starlings are aggressive birds which may take over nesting sites and displace other native birds. This can cause a decline in population of those native birds and disturb the balance of ecosystems. Moreover, starlings are destructive and can spread diseases too. Thus, measures must be taken to prevent starlings from accessing birdhouses.

To keep starlings out, some steps can be taken:

  1. Entrance hole restrictors or guards can be used- they will let small birds enter, while preventing larger birds like starlings.
  2. Birdhouses with small entrance holes can also be chosen, as starlings prefer bigger openings.
  3. Additionally, multiple small birdhouses can be placed, as starlings like bigger communal nesting sites.

Providing suitable alternatives for starlings may help them stay away from desired birdhouses. Nest boxes can be installed in less desirable areas of the property. Regular maintenance is also important- cleaning old nests between seasons will make them clean and remove scent markers, reducing the chance of attracting starlings.

It is essential to take actions without causing harm or violating laws protecting migratory birds. Consulting local regulations and seeking advice from wildlife experts is necessary. Audubon Society experts say that starlings have the ability to mimic calls of other bird species. This allows them to blend in and increases their chances of taking over nesting sites.

Different Methods to Keep Starlings Out

In order to deter starlings from occupying birdhouses, various effective techniques can be employed. These methods have been proven to be successful in keeping starlings away. Here are some key strategies:

  1. Utilize a Starling-Proof Entrance: Implementing a starling-resistant entrance hole can help deter these birds. By making the entrance hole specific to the desired bird species, starlings can be prevented from gaining access to the birdhouse.
  2. Install a Predator Guard: Installing a predator guard around the birdhouse can provide an added layer of protection. This discourages starlings as well as other predators from attempting to enter the birdhouse.
  3. Employ Visual Deterrents: Incorporating visual deterrents such as reflective tape, scare balloons, or hawk silhouettes can create a hostile environment for starlings. These visual deterrents confuse and intimidate starlings, making them less likely to nest in the birdhouse.
  4. Use Distress Calls: Playing distress calls of starlings or other bird species that starlings are known to avoid can effectively discourage them from nesting in birdhouses within the area.
  5. Provide Alternative Nesting Sites: Offering alternative nesting options specifically designed for starlings can redirect their attention away from birdhouses intended for other bird species. Providing these alternative options can greatly reduce the likelihood of starlings occupying birdhouses.

Additionally, it is important to consider unique aspects of starling behavior that may impact their nesting patterns. Understanding these nuances can further enhance the effectiveness of the aforementioned deterrent methods.

To ensure the success of keeping starlings out of birdhouses, it is crucial to take action promptly. By implementing these methods, you can create an environment that discourages starlings from nesting in birdhouses and provides a safe haven for desired bird species. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to enjoy the presence of beautiful native birds in your birdhouses.

Scare starlings away with reflective objects, because nothing says ‘go away bird’ like a disco party they weren’t invited to.

Using Sparrow Spookers or Reflective Objects

Sparrow Spookers and reflective objects are great for deterring starlings. They rely on visual elements to startle and confuse the birds, making them avoid certain areas. Mounting these deterrents near potential roosting spots is key.

Also, changing the position of these items helps, as starlings may become used to static objects. Combining with other bird control techniques can be even more effective! A multi-layered approach increases the chances of success.

For an extra edge, use a mix of reflective objects with different shapes and sizes. Starlings can become accustomed to the same type of deterrent if used too often. Therefore, diversifying is key.

Installing Starling-Proof Birdhouse Entrances

Start by picking an entrance hole size that is small enough for bluebirds and chickadees to enter, but too small for starlings. A great size is 1-1/2 inches in diameter.

To further stop starlings and larger birds, add a predator guard. This can be done by attaching a metal plate or collar around the entrance hole.

Entrance hole protectors are also useful. These are metal or plastic plates with a tiny entrance hole in the middle. Place them over the existing hole to make sure starlings can’t enlarge it and gain access.

Some birdhouses have reversible entrance panels, which make it easy to change the size of the entrance hole. This helps keep out starlings.

Finally, don’t forget to maintain your birdhouses. Check for any obstructions blocking the entrances and get rid of any debris or old nests that may attract starlings.

Combine different strategies to make starlings unwelcome, such as providing alternative nesting sites or using bird feeders for smaller bird species.

William Sells was a well-known ornithologist in the 19th century. He was the first to realize the need for specific entrance designs to regulate bird populations and keep invasive species like starlings away. His research and experiments led to the modern methods of installing starling-proof birdhouse entrances.

Implementing Nesting Material Modifications

Do you know? A study from Cornell Lab of Ornithology found that modifying nesting materials can help reduce starling populations and protect native bird species.

How? By providing alternative nesting sites, removing existing nest materials, and erecting spikes on potential roosting surfaces.

Plus, using visual deterrents, such as replica predators or reflective objects, and physical barriers, like netting or wire mesh, can also be effective.

Creating a Starling-Resistant Birdhouse Design

  1. Construct the birdhouse with a smaller entry hole, as starlings prefer larger openings.
  2. Add a predator guard, such as a metal plate or cone, to block starlings from accessing it.
  3. Include an adjustable entry hole that can be changed to suit desired birds and exclude starlings.
  4. Install a ventilation system – this will regulate temperature and humidity, discouraging starlings from nesting.
  5. Position the birdhouse at an appropriate height and away from trees or buildings where starlings could perch.
  6. Choose materials for the birdhouse that starlings don’t like – metal or recycled plastic.
  7. For extra protection, add a sloped roof. This prevents perching and nest-building by starlings.
  8. Also, apply non-toxic deterrent sprays on the exterior surface of the birdhouse to keep birds away.

By following these steps, one can significantly reduce starling infestation and still welcome desirable bird species.

Step-by-Step Instructions on How to Keep Starlings Out

Starlings are a common nuisance for bird enthusiasts who want to attract other bird species to their birdhouses. To keep starlings out and create a more diverse bird population, there are several step-by-step instructions you can follow:

  1. Choose the Right Birdhouse Design:
    • Opt for birdhouses with entrance hole sizes that are too small for starlings but suitable for desired bird species.
    • Avoid birdhouses with large entrance holes or open-front designs that starlings can easily access.
  2. Install Predator Guards:
    • Attach a metal predator guard around the entrance hole of the birdhouse to prevent starlings from entering.
    • Ensure the predator guard extends outward, making it difficult for starlings to reach the entrance hole.
  3. Use Distraction Techniques:
    • Place decoy bird feeders or houses near the desired birdhouse to attract starlings away from it.
    • Provide food sources that are more appealing to starlings in a different part of the yard to divert their attention.

It’s important to note that starlings are an invasive species, introduced to North America in the late 1800s. They quickly multiplied in numbers, outcompeted native birds for nesting sites, and became a major agricultural pest. Implementing these step-by-step instructions can help mitigate their impact and create a more balanced and diverse bird population in your yard.

With more starlings invading birdhouses than a Hitchcock movie, it’s time to step up our game and assess the enemy’s stronghold.

Step 1: Assessing the Current Birdhouse Setup

It is essential to assess the existing birdhouse setup to keep starlings away. Here is a 3-step guide to effectively evaluate and address any issues:

  1. Examine the Exterior: Check for signs of damage, like cracks or holes that may let starlings in. Also, look for loose components or worn-out materials that need replacing.
  2. Assess the Interior: Open the birdhouse and check its interior. If there are nesting materials, remove them as starlings usually build nests in cavities.
  3. Analyze Location: See where the birdhouse is placed. Make sure it is at least 10 feet away from trees or other structures. It should not face direct sunlight as this can cause overheating.

Moreover, observe the surrounding area for food sources, like fruit trees or open compost heaps that may attract starlings. Keeping the environment clean can discourage their presence.

Pro Tip: Monitor and inspect your birdhouses regularly throughout the season to keep them starling-free and provide a safe home for desired birds.

Step 2: Choosing the Appropriate Starling Prevention Method

Picking the best way to fend off starlings from your space is important. Here’s a simple guide to assist you in making the correct choice:

  1. Estimate your special needs: Think about the size of the area you need to protect and the amount of starling activity there.
  2. Investigate different prevention methods: Check out bird spikes, netting, or scare devices. Examine their efficiency, ease of installation, and long-term upkeep requirements.
  3. Ask a professional if necessary: If you are not sure which method would work for your situation, get advice from an expert in pest control or bird management.

It is essential to remember that each prevention technique has its own advantages and restrictions. There isn’t a universal answer when it comes to starling prevention, so consider factors like cost, durability, and beauty when making your decision.

Did you know? According to The Wildlife Trusts, starlings are well-known for their remarkable ability to imitate sounds and voices, with some birds capable of repeating up to 35 diverse bird species!

Step 3: Installing the Chosen Prevention Method

Installing the Chosen Prevention Method:

  1. Assess the Area. Look for any entry points or weak spots. This will help you choose the best prevention method.
  2. Get the Tools and Materials. Prepare bird netting, spikes, or scare devices.
  3. Secure the Perimeter. Put the chosen prevention method around the area that starlings frequent.
  4. Make Sure it’s Installed Properly. Make sure all components are secure and aligned. An improper installation won’t work.
  5. Monitor and Maintain. Keep an eye on its effectiveness. Make adjustments or repairs if needed.

Note: Factors like the location and infestation severity may change the prevention methods needed. To increase efficiency, combine different techniques.

Step 4: Regularly Monitoring and Maintaining the Birdhouse

Monitoring and maintaining the birdhouse is a must to keep it functioning and birds safe. Heed these steps to keep it in check:

  1. Inspect weekly: Look for cracks, loose screws, or other potential problems that may affect the structure.
  2. Clear debris: Take out twigs, leaves, or droppings inside the birdhouse using gloves and a brush.
  3. Repair ASAP: Address any damages seen during inspection straight away. Replace missing pieces, tighten screws, etc.
  4. Monitor activity: Watch the birdhouse regularly to observe bird behavior. Look for any unusual activity or distress among the birds.
  5. Provide proper upkeep: Inspect, repair, and weatherproof.


  • Put predator guards around the entrance.
  • Place the birdhouse away from people and noise.
  • Pick materials that are durable and resistant to bad weather.

These steps enable both birds and birdhouses to cope with challenges. With regular maintenance, you can make sure birds are safe and comfortable all year.

Tips for Long-Term Starling Prevention

There are several effective techniques for long-term starling prevention that can help keep starlings out of birdhouses:

  1. Modify the entrance hole size: Ensuring that the entrance hole of the birdhouse is of an appropriate size can deter starlings from entering. The size can be adjusted in a way that allows smaller bird species to access the birdhouse while excluding starlings.
  2. Choose the right location: Placing birdhouses in locations that are less attractive to starlings can help in long-term prevention. Avoid areas near open fields or large trees, as starlings prefer these habitats. Instead, opt for locations closer to brushy or wooded areas which are less appealing to starlings.
  3. Install predator guards: Adding predator guards to the birdhouse can deter starlings as they are more cautious of potential threats. These guards can be in the form of baffles or cones, placed below or around the birdhouse entrance to prevent starlings from accessing it.

It is important to note that starlings are highly adaptable, so a combination of these prevention methods may be necessary for optimal results.

In addition to the above tips, using birdhouses specifically designed to discourage starlings can also be beneficial. These birdhouses may have features such as smaller entrance holes with perches that are difficult for starlings to grasp onto.

It is essential to regularly monitor and maintain birdhouses to ensure they remain starling-free. By implementing these long-term prevention strategies, bird enthusiasts can create a more conducive environment for other bird species while deterring starlings.

True story: A bird lover, after struggling with starlings occupying his birdhouses, decided to modify the entrance hole sizes to exclude starlings. This simple adjustment successfully prevented starlings from entering, allowing other bird species to thrive in the birdhouses.

Cleaning birdhouses is like therapy for bird enthusiasts, except it’s cheaper and you don’t have to talk about your feelings.

Tip 1: Cleaning and Maintenance

To prevent starlings, cleaning and maintenance is vital! Regular cleaning helps avoid gathering debris and spotting any entry points. To do this, follow these 6 steps:

  1. Inspect and get rid of all starling nests. Dispose of them correctly.
  2. Clear out leaves and debris from gutters and downspouts. This stops water collecting, which starlings like.
  3. Cut back any nearby trees or shrubbery. These are used for launching by starlings to enter.
  4. Check vents and other openings for damage or gaps. Fix them to stop starlings entering.
  5. Make sure garbage bins are sealed. Starlings looking for food won’t get in.
  6. Put up bird deterrents like spikes or netting on outside surfaces starlings gather on.

Keep in mind a few more details for successful cleaning and maintenance:

  • Look in hidden spaces such as attics, roof eaves, and chimney flues for possible nesting sites.
  • Use safe cleaning when dealing with bird droppings or contaminated areas to lower health risks.

Further improve cleaning and maintenance by:

  1. Setting up motion-activated sprinklers or sound devices near problem areas to startle starlings away.
  2. Testing different bird repellents such as reflective tape or ultrasonic devices to disrupt starling patterns.

Cleaning and maintaining your area wipes away potential nesting sites and stops starlings from choosing it as a roosting or breeding ground. Stay ahead of infestations with proactive prevention.

Tip 2: Monitoring Birdhouse Activity

Keeping a close eye on birdhouse activity is essential to avoid long-term starling infestation. By observing and recording birds’ behavior near the birdhouse, you can identify any attempts of starlings to take control. Monitoring allows for timely intervention and strategies to deter them.

To monitor effectively:

  1. Install a discreet camera near the birdhouse. This way, you can capture images or videos of starlings or other unwanted visitors trying to enter.

  2. Record and analyze footage. Check the footage regularly and look out for starlings that may be causing trouble or trying to dominate the space. Make note of their numbers, arrival times, and persistence in accessing the birdhouse.

  3. Take action. Once you spot patterns of starling intrusion, take immediate action. Install a predator guard or modify the entrance hole diameter to exclude starlings while permitting desired species.

Document each instance of starling activity, types of deterrents used, and their effectiveness over time. This record will help you assess trends and make decisions about future prevention strategies.

Recently, a friend shared their experience with monitoring birdhouse activity. They noticed an increase in starling presence but didn’t pay much attention. After finding out about nest competition, they took action. Installing a camera helped them gather evidence quickly. There were many starlings trying to occupy the nest boxes. By acting promptly and using preventative measures, they reclaimed the birdhouses. Monitoring birdhouse activity had worked!

Tip 3: Providing Alternative Nesting Options for Starlings

Providing alternative nesting options for starlings can be a great long-term plan. Here are some key points to consider:

  1. Construct birdhouses made to fit starlings, and make their size stop other birds from getting in.
  2. Hang the birdhouses far from areas starlings frequent, such as rooftops or hollows in trees.
  3. Place nesting materials, like twigs and grass, near the birdhouses to encourage them to nest there.
  4. Put predator guards or metal plates around the entrance of the birdhouses, so larger birds and squirrels cannot get in.

These tips can help direct starlings away from your property. The design and placement of the birdhouses are essential to draw in starlings, and keep other birds out. With suitable nesting material, and predator deterrents, starlings may be more likely to pick these options over traditional nesting sites.

Include these strategies in your prevention plan. They provide alternative nesting spots and help keep a balanced ecosystem, by preventing overcrowding and promoting biodiversity. Taking proactive steps like this can help you and wildlife live together in harmony.


Time for the main course! Here’s what to remember when keeping starlings away from birdhouses:

  1. Make the hole small so starlings can’t enter and take over.

  2. Put up a guard or baffle to stop starlings from accessing the house.

  3. Place it in a spot starlings don’t like, like a forest or near shrubs.

  4. Clean and maintain the house to keep starlings away.

Every place is different, so you may need to find new solutions. Factors like climate, food sources and more can change starling behavior.

My neighbor used reflective tape once. The flashing light confused the birds and kept them away. It just goes to show that sometimes unique ideas work!

So there you have it. These tips and an anecdote will help you keep starlings away. Enjoy your birdwatching!

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs: How To Keep Starlings Out Of Birdhouses

Q: Why should I keep starlings out of birdhouses?

A: Starlings are invasive birds that can take over birdhouses, driving away native bird species. Keeping starlings out helps preserve biodiversity and protect the nesting habitats of other birds.

Q: How can I prevent starlings from entering birdhouses?

A: There are a few effective methods to deter starlings. Using restrictive entry holes of appropriate size, installing predator guards, or using starling-resistant birdhouse designs are commonly employed techniques.

Q: What size of entry hole should I use to keep starlings out?

A: Starlings need entry holes with a diameter of about 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) to enter birdhouses. By reducing the entry hole size to 1.25 inches (3.2 cm) or smaller, you can prevent starlings from accessing the birdhouse while still allowing smaller bird species to enter.

Q: Can predator guards help in keeping starlings away?

A: Yes, predator guards can be effective. These are primarily designed to prevent access by raccoons, snakes, and other predators, but they can also deter starlings. Install predator guards below the entry hole or around the birdhouse pole to make it difficult for starlings to land and access the birdhouse.

Q: Are there birdhouse designs specifically made to deter starlings?

A: Yes, there are birdhouses designed with features that make them starling-resistant. These designs may include sloping roofs, narrow entry slots, or internal baffles that make it challenging for starlings to take over the birdhouse.

Q: Should I remove starling nests if they manage to build them?

A: Yes, it is recommended to remove starling nests from birdhouses as soon as possible. Starlings are highly territorial, and once they establish a nest, they aggressively defend it, often driving away other bird species. Removing their nests discourages further occupation by starlings and allows native birds to reclaim the birdhouse.

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.