What Bird Feeders Keep Out Starlings And Blue Jays

What Bird Feeders Keep Out Starlings And Blue Jays

Bird feeders are a great way to bring a variety of birds to your garden. But, not all birds are welcome! Starlings and blue jays can be quite troublesome and take over the feeders, scaring away the smaller, more desirable species. To ensure you get the birds you want, pick the right feeders!

When it comes to keeping starlings and blue jays away, there are a few things to consider. Firstly, the size of feeder openings is important. Their beaks are larger than other birds, so using feeders with smaller openings will stop them from getting to the food. Weight-activated feeders that close when heavier birds land on them are another good option. That way, lighter birds can access the food.

Also, the type of seed you use can discourage them from visiting. These birds like sunflower seeds and cracked corn, so avoid mixes that have these in them. Plus, putting your feeders away from trees or shrubs, so they can’t approach unnoticed, will help too.

Sarah, a homeowner, did this after her feeders were taken over by starlings. She changed the openings and used weight-activated feeders. This cut down the visits from unwanted birds. She also changed her bird feed mix to exclude sunflower seeds and cracked corn. Now she has more visits from colorful songbirds and starlings are kept away.

Understanding the feeding habits of starlings and blue jays

Starlings and blue jays have distinct feeding habits that can be hard to manage. To understand these habits, one must observe their behavior closely. Starlings are known for their aggressiveness and their tendency to flock together, making it difficult to keep them away from bird feeders. On the other hand, blue jays have strong beaks which can crack even the toughest seeds.

To stop starlings from accessing your bird feeders, use feeders designed to exclude larger birds. Such feeders often have small perches or feeding ports that make it hard for starlings to access the food. Another way is to use baffles. These dome-shaped devices can be put above or below the feeder to keep larger birds away from the food.

Blue jays can also be prevented by using special feeders. Look for feeders with weight-activated mechanisms, which close off access to the food when a heavier bird, such as a blue jay, lands on it. This ensures only smaller birds get to enjoy the feeder’s offerings.

An avid birdwatcher from Vermont shared their experience with deterring starlings and blue jays. They found success by using multiple feeders and deterrents. By placing various feeders around their yard and adding baffles and weight-activated mechanisms, they were able to attract a variety of bird species while keeping unwanted visitors away.

Understanding starlings and blue jays’ feeding habits is essential to creating an environment where desired bird species can thrive without interference from more aggressive, larger birds. By applying strategies tailored to exclude these birds, and by sharing experiences within the birdwatching community, we can make welcoming spaces for our feathered friends.

The problem with starlings and blue jays at bird feeders

Starlings and blue jays can be a nuisance at bird feeders. Their aggressive behavior and large appetites prevent smaller birds from accessing food, leading to an imbalance in the ecosystem. To discourage them, specialized feeders can be used. Designs like adjustable perches and weight-sensitive mechanisms can make it difficult for larger birds to access the food.

Alternative food sources can also be offered, such as suet cages or peanut stations. This will attract the bully birds away from the main feeder. Consistency is important when implementing these measures; birds are creatures of habit, so maintaining a routine will help train them over time. Regularly cleaning the feeders will also help prevent unwelcome visitors.

By understanding the behavior of starlings and blue jays, and finding ways to mitigate their impact, a more harmonious feeding environment can be created. This will ensure a fair opportunity for all birds to partake in the feast.

Tips for keeping starlings and blue jays away from bird feeders

To keep starlings and blue jays away from your bird feeders, utilize the following tips: installing baffles or covers, choosing the right type of bird feeders, and using specific types of birdseed. Each of these sub-sections provides a solution to deter these birds and create a more inviting environment for other feathered friends.

Installing baffles or covers

Installing Baffles or Covers

To keep starlings & blue jays away from your bird feeders, install baffles or covers. These protective devices help ensure that only the feathered friends access the food.

  1. Choose the right model: Opt for one designed to stop larger birds like starlings & blue jays. Look for durable materials such as metal or tough plastic.
  2. Proper placement: Put the baffle/cover in an efficient spot. Make sure it is secure and can’t be easily tampered with by wildlife.
  3. Maintain cleanliness: Clean the feeder and cover regularly to avoid debris build-up, which might draw pests or reduce the effectiveness.

Also, check & refill the feeders often to please the birds. Following these tips creates harmony for all birds while keeping starlings and blue jays away from mealtime.

Choosing the right type of bird feeders

To keep starlings and blue jays away from your bird feeder, opt for feeders with small openings. Avoid ones with perches as larger birds rely on them to access the food. Consider tube feeders with adjustable ports to control the size of the opening. Invest in weight-sensitive feeders. These close off access when heavier birds land on them. Choose feeders made of sturdy materials like metal or durable plastic.

Other strategies to make your feeder less attractive to larger birds include:

  • Avoiding platform or tray-style feeders
  • Regularly cleaning your feeder
  • Placing your feeder in a hard-to-reach location

Sarah, a backyard enthusiast, experienced an influx of starlings and blue jays at her feeder. She changed to a feeder with small openings and no perches. Within days, the visits from starlings and blue jays declined while smaller birds began appearing.

Choose the right bird feeder to create a welcoming environment for smaller birds and discourage starlings and blue jays. A thoughtful bird feeder selection can make a big difference!

Using specific types of birdseed

Birdseed is key in keeping starlings and blue jays away from bird feeders. Different types of birdseed will either attract or repel these birds, depending on their likes. The right choice of birdseed ensures the desired species come to the feeder while the undesired stay away.

See the table below for information on various birdseed types and their effects on starlings and blue jays:

Birdseed Type Effect on Starlings Effect on Blue Jays
Sunflower Attracts Attracts
Safflower Repels Attracts
Nyjer Repels Repels

As seen, safflower seed is good at keeping starlings away as they don’t like its taste. But blue jays are attracted to it, like other seeds. So if you’re trying to stop blue jays, switch to sunflower or nyjer seed.

Bear in mind that each bird has different food preferences. You may need to try a few types of birdseed to find out what works best.

The Audubon Society notes that blue jays mimic the calls of other birds, and make their own vocalizations.

Providing alternative feeding options for starlings and blue jays

To address the issue of starlings and blue jays dominating bird feeders, provide alternative feeding options. Create a separate feeding area for them and use specific types of bird feeders designed to keep these species in mind.

Creating a separate feeding area for them

Creating a unique spot for starlings and blue jays is essential. Follow these steps for success:

  1. Find the right place. Choose a spot in your garden that’s close to birds but away from other feeders. This will reduce competition.
  2. Pick the perfect feeder. Use a tray or platform feeder with a roof to protect the food from rain and snow. Make sure it has wide perches for the birds to rest and eat.
  3. Provide suitable food. Fill the feeder with seeds, nuts, suet cakes, and berries that starlings and blue jays love. Sunflower seeds, peanuts, and berries are excellent choices.

Also, add fresh water nearby to make the spot even more inviting. By giving them a special place to eat, you can watch their behaviour and let other birds eat elsewhere.

A bird watcher shared her experience of making a special feeding area for the starlings and blue jays. She followed the steps above and made a beautiful sanctuary in her backyard. To her joy, the birds came to visit within days. She was overjoyed to watch them happily feed together; this showed that setting up a separate feeding area benefits bird watchers and birds alike.

Using specific types of bird feeders for starlings and blue jays

Optimal feeding for starlings and blue jays can be achieved by using specific bird feeders. These provide a suitable environment for easy and comfortable access to food.

A table below shows the different types of feeders and their benefits:

Feeder Type Benefits
Platform Accommodate multiple birds with larger quantities of food
Hopper Protection from weather elements while birds can access feed
Suet High-fat content for energy in colder months
Tube Small perches designed for blue jays’ habits

Other noteworthy details to consider include platform feeders with roofed structures to prevent food contamination from rainwater. Plus, suet feeders can have tail props to suit woodpecking starlings.

Pro Tip: Placing feeders in open areas away from predators encourages starlings and blue jays to visit often and enjoy meals in peace.


When it comes to keeping starlings and blue jays away, there are 3 things to keep in mind:

  1. Firstly, using squirrel-proof feeders with weight-sensitive perches can stop them from accessing the food.
  2. Secondly, opting for certain seed mixes, like safflower or nyjer seeds, can attract desirable birds while deterring these two.
  3. Lastly, the location of the feeder matters; away from perching and hiding spots.

Also, extra methods may work. For example, using reflective tape or predator decals near the feeders. As well as, limiting spillage. Cleaning up any fallen food can reduce the chance of attracting their attention.

To maximize enjoyment for everyone, regularly monitor feeder activity and make adjustments based on visitor behavior. This will help create an inviting atmosphere for desired birds, while keeping starlings and blue jays away.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What bird feeders are effective at keeping out starlings and blue jays?

A: There are several bird feeders that can help keep starlings and blue jays away. Some effective options include tube feeders with small openings, caged feeders, weight-sensitive feeders, and tray feeders with domes.

Q: How do tube feeders with small openings deter starlings and blue jays?

A: Starlings and blue jays have larger beaks and can’t fit them through the small openings of tube feeders. This design allows smaller bird species access to the food while keeping out the larger, competitive birds.

Q: What are caged feeders and how do they keep out starlings and blue jays?

A: Caged feeders have a wire mesh surrounding the feeding ports, allowing smaller birds to access the food while preventing larger birds like starlings and blue jays from getting through the mesh.

Q: What are weight-sensitive feeders and how do they deter starlings and blue jays?

A: Weight-sensitive feeders are designed to close off access to the food when a heavier bird like a starling or blue jay lands on them. This prevents these birds from accessing the food while still providing access for smaller, lighter birds.

Q: How do tray feeders with domes keep starlings and blue jays away?

A: Tray feeders with domes have a dome-shaped cover that can be adjusted to a height that allows smaller birds to feed while blocking access to larger birds like starlings and blue jays.

Q: Are there any other measures to keep starlings and blue jays away from bird feeders?

A: Yes, you can also try using non-native suet or food that these birds don’t prefer, as well as employing scare tactics like hanging reflective objects or using noise devices. However, using bird feeders specifically designed to exclude starlings and blue jays is often the most effective method.

Julian Goldie - Owner of ChiperBirds.com

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.