How To Starling Proof A Bird Feeder

How To Starling Proof A Bird Feeder

Bird feeders are a great way to attract birds to your yard. But starlings can be a nuisance. If you want to keep them away, here are some solutions.

One way is to use a cage-style feeder. Its small openings keep out larger birds like starlings.

You can also adjust the height of your feeder. Make it six feet high, and starlings will find it hard to perch.

Choose food that’s not popular with starlings, like seeds and suet blends for smaller birds.

Lastly, add deterrents around your feeder area. Use reflective surfaces and noise deterrents to make starlings uncomfortable.

Why it’s important to starling proof a bird feeder

Starlings can be a real issue at bird feeders. They often eat all the food, scaring away other birds. To ensure a diverse and thriving bird population, starling proofing your feeder is essential. There are many ways to do this.

Weight-activated perches can be used. These shut off access to heavier birds, like starlings. Wire cages and mesh netting are also deterrents.

Offer specific types of food starlings don’t like. For example, black oil sunflower seeds are popular with many songbirds, but not starlings. This will attract more desirable birds.

European Starlings were introduced in North America in the late 19th century. This caused a rapid population explosion across the continent. To preserve biodiversity, managing the starling’s impact on native birds is important.

Starling proofing your bird feeder helps both humans and birds. This creates a welcoming environment for feathered friends. With these strategies in mind, you can watch beautiful songbirds happily flock to your yard while keeping pesky starlings away.

Understanding starlings and their behavior

Starlings are a smart, common type of bird. Keeping them away from your bird feeder can be tricky. Knowing how they act is key to starling-proofing your feeder.

These birds live in large, social groups. They can find food sources quickly and eat all the food meant for other birds. To stop this, you must design your feeder to be small enough for smaller birds like finches or sparrows, but too small for starlings.

Starlings can be aggressive when it comes to food. They’ll defend access and drive away smaller birds. Weight-activated feeders help stop starlings – they close off access when a heavier bird lands on them. That way, your feeder will be for the native songbirds you want.

Pro Tip: Monitor and clean your feeder often. Make adjustments and repairs if needed. This will stop starlings and help keep the feeder clean and safe for all birds.

Assessing your current bird feeder setup

  1. Check the location of your bird feeder. Is it in an open space where starlings can easily see and reach it? Are there near trees or structures they can use as perches?
  2. Examine the design of your bird feeder. Are there large perches that suit starlings, but leave out smaller birds? Are the feeding ports large enough for starlings to dominate?
  3. Evaluate what food you offer. Do you give seeds that starlings like, like sunflower or millet? Can you switch to something less appealing to starlings, but still attractive to other birds?
  4. Observe the behavior of visiting birds. Do you see a lot of starlings dominating the feeders? Are smaller birds having trouble getting to the food?
  5. Consider installing deterrents. Can you put up physical barriers to stop starlings? Can you change the height or position of the feeder to make it harder for starlings?
  6. Keep track of changes and improvements. Note any adjustments made.
  7. Monitor bird activity to see if your modifications worked.

Each bird feeder setup is different, so you need to tailor these steps for your situation. Assess your current setup to know how to change and improve it. Take action and make your bird feeder a paradise for all feathered visitors. Don’t miss out on the joy of observing a variety of birds – your efforts will be rewarded with beauty and serenity.

Different methods for starling proofing a bird feeder

Bird-lovers often struggle to keep starlings away from their feeders. But, there are many ways to make them starling-proof!

  1. Adjust the feeding ports. Make them too small for starlings, but just right for the smaller birds.
  2. Use selective feed. Think about the food starlings like the least. Give it to the birds you want to see at your feeder.
  3. Implement deterrents. Hang reflective objects, baffles, or cones near the feeder to scare off starlings.
  4. It’s important to clean and maintain the feeder too. That’ll stop pests and keep the birds happy.

Don’t wait – starlings can take over quickly. Stop them before they get a chance! Use these methods to give the birds you love the best home. Enjoy their company without intruders.

Step-by-step instructions for installing a cage or mesh

Want to starling-proof your bird feeder? Here’s a step-by-step guide!

  1. Select a sturdy cage or mesh with small openings.
  2. Gather wire cutters, pliers, and zip ties.
  3. Measure and cut the material.
  4. Wrap the cage or mesh around your bird feeder.
  5. Secure it tightly with zip ties.
  6. Monitor and maintain your bird feeder regularly.
  7. Position your feeders away from large trees and open areas.

Sarah tried this and it worked for her. She successfully enjoyed beautiful songbirds without starlings monopolizing the feeder. You too can do it! Install a protective cage or mesh and take preventative measures. Enjoy your feathered visitors without disruptions!

Tips for maintaining a starling-proof bird feeder

Starlings can be a problem near bird feeders, but don’t worry! Here are some tips to keep them out. You can still give other birds a nice spot to eat without the starlings.

  • Weight-activated feeders: Get special feeders that close when too much weight is put on them. This will keep larger birds like starlings out, but smaller birds can still eat.
  • Add accessories: Baffles and cages can make it hard for starlings to get to the food, but still let other birds eat.
  • Choose the right spot: Put the feeder in an open area far from trees and structures. That way, it’s harder for starlings to land.
  • Offer different food: Starlings like certain foods like suet and cracked corn. Offer different seeds and grains to attract other birds and keep the starlings away.

Plus, keep the feeder clean. Pick up spilled seeds and debris. Clean it with warm soapy water to prevent diseases.

Follow these steps to give other birds a great place to eat. Enjoy a variety of feathered visitors – start today!


Wrapping up, starling-proofing a bird feeder can be done easily. Use these strategies to let your feathered friends eat uninterruptedly, while keeping starlings away.

Modify the feeder design. Choose ones with small openings or cages around them. Pick feeders that require birds to perch upside down or at an angle. Starlings prefer upright positions.

Place the feeder smartly. Hang it in open areas away from trees/structures. Install baffles/squirrel guards on poles for extra security.

Maintain the feeder. Keep it clean and free from food debris. Refill it on a schedule. This will discourage starlings from feasting on easily available food.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I know if I need to starling proof my bird feeder?

If you notice that starlings are dominating your bird feeder, preventing other bird species from accessing the food, it’s time to take action and starling proof the feeder.

2. What are some effective methods to starling proof a bird feeder?

There are several methods you can try, including using a squirrel baffle, adding weight-sensitive perches, using caged feeders, or adjusting the spacing of the feeding ports to prevent large birds like starlings from accessing the food.

3. Can I use seed types that starlings dislike to deter them from my bird feeder?

Yes, starlings tend to dislike safflower seeds and commonly avoid them. Try using safflower seeds instead of other popular birdseed varieties to discourage starlings from frequenting your feeder.

4. Is it possible to starling proof a hanging bird feeder?

Absolutely! You can use deterrents such as transparent monofilament wires around the feeder or install a protective cage around it to keep starlings away.

5. Are there any feeder designs specifically made to be starling proof?

Yes, there are specialized bird feeders designed with features like narrow openings or adjustable perches that make it difficult for starlings to access the food. Look for feeders labeled as “starling resistant” or “pest-proof” when shopping.

6. How long does it usually take for starlings to give up and stop frequenting a bird feeder?

The time it takes for starlings to give up and stop visiting a feeder can vary. In some cases, they may quickly move on to easier food sources if they encounter effective deterrents. However, persistence may be required as starlings are intelligent and adaptable birds.

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.