what do you feed a starling

what do you feed a starling

Ever thought about what to feed a starling?

This article has the answers!

Feeding them needs careful thought.

Insects, fruits, seeds and suet – there’s lots of choices.

Give them clean water too – for drinking and bathing.

Offer a variety of food – they’ll love it!

Pro Tip: Bread isn’t good for them – so avoid feeding it.

Understanding the dietary needs of starlings

Starlings have particular dietary requirements that must be comprehended to provide the best care for them. Their diet consists of both insects and fruits. Nuts and seeds are also beneficial for their meals. Let’s take a look at the table below to further understand their dietary needs:

Food Type Examples
Insects Beetles, caterpillars, ants
Fruits Berries, cherries, apples
Seeds Sunflower seeds, millet
Nuts Peanuts, almonds

Starlings also like suet and mealworms. Variety in their diet guarantees that all their nutritional needs are met. Remember, starlings are omnivores and eat both animal and plant matter, including small vertebrates such as frogs or lizards. However, their primary sources of nourishment are insects and fruits.

When breeding, adult starlings feed their nestlings mainly insects for optimal growth and development (Source: American Ornithological Society).

Recommended diet for starlings

Starlings need the right nutrition to stay healthy. Here are 3 key points:

  1. Variety: Starlings like a range of foods like fruits, insects, and seeds. Fruits like apples, berries, and grapes give vitamins and minerals. Insects like mealworms and crickets provide proteins. Seeds like sunflower and millet offer energy.
  2. Seasonal: In spring and summer, more insects are needed. In fall and winter, offer suet cakes and peanut butter with birdseed.
  3. Hydration: Clean water for drinking and bathing is essential.

Each starling may have its own preferences. Here’s an example of how people helped starlings:

In a small town, locals saw an increase of starlings in gardens and parks. They created feeding stations with fruits, insects, and seeds due to lack of natural food during heatwaves. This attracted starlings and other birds, creating a peaceful environment to eat together.

Feeding starlings in captivity

To feed starlings in captivity, check out the

. It shows:

Starling Feeding Guide
Food Amount Frequency
Insects 100g Twice a day
Fruits 50g Once a day
Seeds 30g Daily
High-quality commercial bird pellets 20g Every other day

Fresh water for drinking and bathing should be available all the time, changing daily. Remove fruit seeds/pits before feeding starlings, and give gut-loaded or calcium/vitamin-dusted insects.

Eugene Schieffelin had an interesting idea in the 1890s. He wanted to introduce all Shakespeare’s birds to North America, so he released 60 European Starlings into NYC’s Central Park. Their population spread fast across the continent.

Feeding baby starlings

Baby starlings have the amazing ability to mimic sounds, including human speech. As they grow, their diet shifts from insects to include fruits and seeds. To ensure proper nutrition, feed them a high protein diet of insects, such as mealworms and crickets, as well as soft fruits like berries.

Due to their small stomachs, they need to eat every 2-3 hours during daylight. Use specialized tools, like a syringe or dropper, when feeding them to give the right amount of food.

Hydration is also essential. Offer them clean water in a shallow dish or use a small bird waterer designed for their size.

Historically, people have successfully hand-reared abandoned baby starlings. This highlights the importance of proper care and feeding for these birds’ survival.

Tips for attracting starlings to your bird feeder

Attracting starlings to your bird feeder can be rewarding. These birds are known for their striking appearance and sounds. Here are some tips to help you invite them into your garden:

  • Provide a variety of food. They like seeds, fruits, and insects.
  • Create sheltered spaces. Starlings prefer nesting in cavities, so use nest boxes or dense shrubs/trees.
  • Use suet feeders with larger holes to make sure starlings can access the food.

Uniquely, consider adding water sources like birdbaths or fountains. Also, avoid using chemicals/pesticides, as these can harm the starlings.

True History:

In the 19th century, individuals wanted to introduce all the birds from Shakespeare’s plays to North America. This led to a rapid expansion of the European starling population, causing ecological imbalances and displacing native birds. Today, starlings remain across North America and are both admired and controversial.


Feeding starlings? Balance and nutrition are key. To satisfy their needs, a combo of seeds, insects, fruits, and suet works great. They’re omnivores, so mealworms and crickets are good for the breeding season’s protein requirement. Seeds like sunflower, millet, and cracked corn give them fats and carbs. Berries and chopped grapes provide vitamins and antioxidants. Plus, suet blocks and balls offer high fat content to help them survive cold months when food is scarce. Hang these feeders in good spots and starlings will come to your garden often.

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs: What do you feed a starling?

1. What is the ideal diet for a starling?

Starlings are omnivorous birds and have a varied diet. They consume both insects and plant matter. Providing a mix of bird pellets, fruits, vegetables, and mealworms can offer a balanced diet for starlings.

2. Can I give bread to starlings?

While starlings may eat bread, it is not a recommended food source for them. Bread lacks essential nutrients and can be harmful if it fills their stomachs without providing proper nourishment. It’s better to offer them healthier alternatives.

3. Can I feed starlings pet food?

Yes, you can offer small portions of pet food, such as cat or dog kibble, as an occasional treat for starlings. However, it should not replace their main diet. Make sure the pet food doesn’t contain any artificial additives or seasoning harmful to birds.

4. Are there any fruits or vegetables that starlings particularly enjoy?

Starlings generally enjoy a variety of fruits and vegetables, including berries, apples, pears, grapes, spinach, and lettuce. Experiment with different options to find their preferences. Remember to wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly before offering them.

5. Is it safe to offer mealworms to starlings?

Yes, mealworms are a great source of protein for starlings. They can be provided as a treat or mixed with their regular diet. Ensure the mealworms are fresh, properly stored, and obtained from a reputable source to avoid any contamination or health risks.

6. Should I provide water along with their food?

Yes, it is important to offer fresh water for starlings to drink and bathe. Use a shallow dish or bird bath that allows them to easily access the water. Make sure to change the water daily and clean the container regularly to prevent the spread of diseases.

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.