What Bird Seed Will Starlings Not Eat

What Bird Seed Will Starlings Not Eat

Starlings, with their aggressive behavior and voracious appetites, can quickly dominate bird feeders, leaving little to no food for other bird species. To address this issue and promote a more diverse avian population, it is essential to avoid feeding starlings.

Fortunately, there are certain types of bird seed that starlings tend to avoid, making them a good choice for your feeders.

  1. Nyjer Seed: Also known as thistle seed, nyjer seed is a small black seed that starlings have difficulty cracking open, deterring them from feeding.
  2. Safflower Seed: Starlings find safflower seed less palatable compared to other seeds, making it a less appealing option for them.
  3. White Proso Millet: This small, round seed is commonly enjoyed by a variety of desirable bird species, while starlings tend to show less interest in it.

In addition to using starling-resistant seeds, there are other tips to deter starlings from your feeding areas. Using squirrel-proof feeders can prevent starlings from monopolizing the feed, as these feeders are designed to be difficult for larger birds to access. Creating physical barriers, such as cages or wire mesh, can also limit starling access while allowing smaller birds to feed freely. For a more specialized approach, there are starling-proof feeders available that use weight-activated mechanisms to discourage larger birds.

By implementing these strategies and selecting the right bird seed, you can help create a more balanced and inviting feeding environment for a wider range of bird species.

Key takeaway:

  • Starlings can be deterred by using certain types of bird seed: Avoid feeding starlings by opting for bird seeds that they tend to avoid, such as Nyjer seed, safflower seed, and white proso millet.
  • Using squirrel-proof feeders can help deter starlings: Starlings are discouraged from feeding areas when squirrel-proof feeders are used, preventing them from accessing the bird seed.
  • Creating physical barriers and using specialized starling-proof feeders can also deter starlings: By implementing physical barriers and utilizing specialized feeders designed to deter starlings, you can effectively keep them away from your bird seed.

Why Avoid Feeding Starlings?

Starlings are best avoided when feeding birds for several reasons. Why avoid feeding starlings? Starlings are highly aggressive and competitive, often dominating feeders and driving away other bird species. This behavior can disrupt the balance of the ecosystem and harm native bird populations. Starlings have a voracious appetite and can consume large quantities of bird seed in a short amount of time.

Feeding starlings can also lead to the spread of diseases. Why avoid feeding starlings? Starlings are known carriers of diseases such as salmonellosis and avian influenza, which can be transmitted to other birds at feeding stations. This poses a risk not only to the health of other birds but also to public health in cases where humans come into contact with contaminated bird droppings.

Starlings are highly adaptable and can quickly become pests if they become dependent on human-provided food sources. Their large numbers and aggressive behavior can cause damage to crops, gardens, and property, leading to significant economic losses.

To avoid attracting starlings, it is recommended to use feeders and seed types that are less appealing to them. Why avoid feeding starlings? Avoid seed mixes that contain cheaper fillers like milo or wheat, as starlings prefer these grains. Opt for high-quality seeds that are specifically formulated for the species you want to attract, such as black oil sunflower seeds or nyjer (thistle) seeds.

It is important to avoid feeding starlings in order to preserve the diversity and health of bird populations, prevent the spread of diseases, and mitigate potential damages caused by these birds. Why avoid feeding starlings?

Types of Bird Seed that Starlings Avoid

Looking to keep pesky starlings away from your bird feeders? Let’s explore the types of bird seed that these feathery thieves tend to avoid. From Nyjer Seed to Safflower Seed and White Proso Millet, we’ll uncover the secrets to outsmarting these clever creatures and attracting the feathered friends you desire. Stick around to discover the best bird seed options backed by nature’s preferences – no more wasted seed or unwanted guests!

1. Nyjer Seed

  • Nyjer seed, also known as thistle seed, is not a preferred food source for starlings.

  • Starlings tend to avoid nyjer seed because of its small size and taste.

  • The small size of nyjer seed makes it difficult for starlings to crack open and consume.

  • Nyjer seed is rich in oil content, which is not appealing to starlings.

  • Other bird species, such as finches and sparrows, are attracted to nyjer seed and will readily consume it.

  • To attract these birds and deter starlings, use feeders specifically designed for nyjer seed.

  • By offering nyjer seed in a dedicated feeder, you can enjoy the company of colorful finches and sparrows while minimizing the presence of starlings.

  • It’s important to note that starlings are adaptable and may attempt to consume nyjer seed if their preferred food sources are scarce.

  • Regularly clean and refill nyjer seed feeders to ensure freshness and prevent spoilage.

  • Thistle seed, commonly referred to as Nyjer seed, is not a favored food choice for starlings.

  • Starlings have a tendency to avoid nyjer seed due to its small size and flavor.

  • The compact nature of nyjer seed poses a challenge for starlings to crack open and consume.

  • Nyjer seed possesses high oil content, which fails to capture the interest of starlings.

  • Nyjer seed allures other bird species like finches and sparrows, which will eagerly devour it.

  • To entice these birds and discourage starlings, utilize feeders specifically designed for nyjer seed.

  • By providing nyjer seed in a dedicated feeder, you can relish the presence of vibrant finches and sparrows while minimizing the appearance of starlings.

  • It’s worth mentioning that starlings are adaptable and may try to consume nyjer seed if their preferred food sources are limited.

  • Maintain the cleanliness of nyjer seed feeders and replenish regularly to ensure freshness and prevent spoilage.

2. Safflower Seed

Safflower Seed Safflower seed is an ideal bird seed for preventing starlings from accessing feeding areas due to their natural aversion towards it. Therefore, incorporating safflower seed in your bird feeder can effectively deter starlings.

3. White Proso Millet

White Proso Millet, also known as Panicum miliaceum, is a bird seed variety that starlings tend to avoid. It is a small, round grain that is commonly used in bird seed mixes and can be an effective deterrent for starlings.

Here is a table illustrating the benefits of using White Proso Millet:

Benefits of White Proso Millet
1. Starling deterrent:
    – Starlings are less likely to consume White Proso Millet compared to other bird seed varieties.
2. Affordability:
    – White Proso Millet is a cost-effective option for bird seed mixes.
3. Versatility:
    – White Proso Millet can attract a variety of other bird species, such as sparrows, finches, and doves.

By incorporating White Proso Millet into your bird seed mix, you can discourage starlings from feeding while attracting other desirable bird species to your garden. It is a practical and effective way to create a bird-friendly environment.

Other Tips to Deter Starlings from Feeding Areas

Looking to keep starlings away from your bird feeders? Let’s dive into some additional tips that can help deter these pesky birds from invading your feeding areas. From utilizing squirrel-proof feeders to creating physical barriers, we’ve got you covered. We’ll also explore the effectiveness of specialized starling-proof feeders. Say goodbye to unwanted guests and create a welcoming environment for your feathered friends.

1. Use Squirrel-Proof Feeders

  1. Incorporate squirrel-proof feeders to deter starlings from feeding areas.
  2. Choose a squirrel-proof feeder design that is specifically built to prevent squirrels and other larger birds from accessing the bird seed.
  3. Ensure that the feeder has metal or sturdy construction, with features such as weight-sensitive perches or cages that prevent squirrels from reaching the seed.
  4. Hang the feeder at a height that is challenging for squirrels to reach, typically at least 5 feet above the ground and at least 10 feet away from any trees or structures that squirrels can jump from.
  5. Regularly clean the feeder and remove any spilled or spoiled seed to discourage squirrels from being attracted to the area.
  6. Consider using baffles or other physical barriers around the feeder to prevent squirrels from climbing up the pole or tree where the feeder is located.

I once had a problem with starlings constantly raiding my bird feeders and scaring away other smaller birds. I decided to incorporate squirrel-proof feeders, and it made a huge difference. The weight-sensitive perches on the feeders meant that whenever a squirrel or larger bird landed on it, the seed ports would close, preventing access to the food. This effectively deterred the starlings from the feeders, allowing the smaller birds to enjoy the bird seed undisturbed. It was a simple solution that significantly enhanced my birdwatching experience.

2. Create Physical Barriers

To effectively create physical barriers and deter starlings from feeding areas, follow these steps:

  1. Begin by installing a sturdy bird feeder pole equipped with a squirrel baffle or dome guard. This clever addition will effectively prevent starlings from accessing the bird seed.
  2. Next, utilize wire mesh or hardware cloth to establish a protective cage around the bird feeder. It is crucial to ensure that the openings are small enough to deter starlings from entering while allowing smaller birds access to the feeder.
  3. To further discourage starlings, place a cage or mesh cover over the bird seed or suet feeder. This strategic measure will enable smaller birds to access the nourishing food while effectively keeping starlings out.
  4. Implement a proactive approach by attaching strips of Mylar tape or wind chimes near the feeding area. These reflective and noise-making deterrents will effectively scare away starlings.
  5. When selecting a location to hang the bird feeders, consider spots that are challenging for starlings to reach, such as under eaves or on tree branches with limited access.
  6. In order to eliminate potential perching or roosting spots near the feeding area, remove any large branches or open structures that may attract starlings.
  7. Lastly, provide additional protection by installing bird netting or plastic mesh over fruit trees or berry bushes. This will effectively prevent starling damage and discourage them from gathering in the area.

3. Opt for Specialized Starling-Proof Feeders

When it comes to deterring starlings from feeding areas, it is highly effective to opt for specialized starling-proof feeders. There are several reasons why choosing these feeders is beneficial:

  • Design: Specialized starling-proof feeders are uniquely designed with features that make it challenging for starlings to access the bird seed. They often have smaller openings or adjustable perches that only allow smaller birds to feed.
  • Construction: These feeders are constructed using durable materials that can withstand the pecking and attempts by starlings to access the seeds. They are typically sturdier and more resistant to damage compared to regular feeders.
  • Seed dispensing mechanisms: Starling-proof feeders often have mechanisms that dispense the bird seed in a manner that requires smaller birds to hang upside down or use their agility to access the seeds. Starlings, being bigger and less agile, find it difficult to feed in these conditions.
  • Squirrel resistance: Many specialized starling-proof feeders are also designed to be squirrel-resistant, preventing both starlings and squirrels from accessing the bird seed.

By opting for specialized starling-proof feeders, you can effectively discourage starlings from feeding areas, ensuring that the bird seed is available to the birds you want to attract. Remember to place the feeders in a location that is easily accessible to smaller birds but more challenging for starlings to reach.

Some Facts About “What Bird Seed Will Starlings Not Eat”:

  • ✅ European Starlings and House Sparrows can be discouraged by using bird feeders with smaller holes or mesh to exclude larger birds. (Source: All About Birds)
  • ✅ To deter starlings, you can use seed types that are less attractive to them, such as sunflower seed or safflower seed with thick, hard shells. (Source: All About Birds)
  • ✅ Starlings have beaks designed to open softer-shelled seeds, so they prefer peanuts and seeds out of the shell. (Source: Our Team)
  • ✅ Hanging mylar balloons filled with helium can help drive away starlings that are nesting near your home. (Source: All About Birds)
  • ✅ Using nyjer seed in a tube feeder can help discourage invasive species like European Starlings and House Sparrows. (Source: All About Birds)

Frequently Asked Questions

What bird seed will starlings not eat?

Starlings have a preferred diet that includes softer-shelled seeds like peanuts and seeds out of the shell. They are less likely to eat seeds with thick, hard shells such as sunflower and safflower seeds. Therefore, using a seed mix that includes black oil sunflower, striped sunflower, golden safflower, and white safflower, all in the shell, can discourage starlings from emptying your feeders.

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

If starlings are taking over your bird feeders, there are several strategies you can try. One option is to use bird feeders designed to exclude larger birds, such as those with cages or ones that close off the food source when a heavy bird lands on the perch. Another approach is to remove feeders for a couple of weeks, as starlings will often move on to other areas. Keeping food off the ground and using seed types that are less attractive to starlings, like sunflower seed or safflower seed with thick, hard shells, can also help deter them.

What feeders are suitable for small birds to outsmart blue jays?

To outsmart blue jays and make the feeders more suitable for small birds, you can consider using feeders specifically designed for smaller birds. These feeders often have smaller perches or openings that are difficult for blue jays to access. By using these feeders, you can create a feeding environment that is more favorable for smaller birds while deterring blue jays.

How can I discourage invasive species like European starlings and house sparrows from my backyard?

Invasive species like European starlings and house sparrows can be harder to discourage due to their similarity in size to desirable birds. However, there are some methods you can try. Removing feeders for a couple of weeks can disrupt their feeding patterns and encourage them to look for food elsewhere. Additionally, keeping food off the ground and using nyjer seed in a tube feeder can help deter these invasive species. Hanging mylar balloons filled with helium around your property may also drive them away.

Will pure suet deter starlings and grackles from hogging suet feeders?

Yes, pure suet can deter starlings and grackles from hogging suet feeders. While these birds typically go for suet with additions like peanuts or almonds, they tend to lose interest in pure suet. By swapping out suet/peanut blocks with pure suet, you can discourage starlings and grackles from dominating the suet feeders and create a feeding environment that attracts a wider variety of birds.

Where can I find more information about bird feeding and bird-related topics?

Project FeederWatch and All About Birds are both excellent resources that provide information on common feeder birds, types of feeders, and types of food. Project FeederWatch offers comprehensive information on bird feeding options, while All About Birds provides free resources funded by donors for bird lovers seeking information on bird feeding and other bird-related topics.

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.