What Kind Of Bird Food Will Starlings Not Eat

What Kind Of Bird Food Will Starlings Not Eat

Starlings don’t like certain bird food. To keep them away from your feeders, use safflower or nyjer (thistle) seed. Starlings find the taste of safflower seeds bitter, and the small size and texture of nyjer seeds unappealing. You can also buy feeders with cages or barriers to only let small birds access the food. Keeping your feeders clean is another way to deter starlings. They are attracted to moldy seed and debris on dirty feeders.

Understanding Starlings

To understand starlings and their eating habits, explore the sub-sections: What Do Starlings Eat? and Problems with Starlings Eating Bird Food. Discover the solution to what kind of bird food starlings won’t eat and gain insights into managing the challenges that arise when starlings consume bird food intended for other species.

What Do Starlings Eat?

Starlings are omnivores, meaning they feast on both plant and animal food. Their diet consists of insects, fruits, berries, seeds, and grains. They love to hunt for beetles, caterpillars, moths, ants, and spiders. During the warmer months they indulge in cherries, apples, pears, and grapes. Berries, like elderberries, blackberries, raspberries, and mulberries are their favorite! As for seeds, they snack on sunflower seeds, millets, corn kernels, and various grass seeds. They also eat grain crops such as wheat, oats, and barley. In urban areas, starlings may scavenge from garbage cans or bird feeders.

Their consumption depends on the season. When insects become scarce during colder months, they turn to fruits, seeds, and grains. Starlings can adjust their diet according to environmental conditions. They can also eat up to 10% of their body weight in food daily, which helps them survive in many habitats around the world.

Problems with Starlings Eating Bird Food

Starlings can be a nuisance! They have an enormous appetite and can monopolize bird feeders, reducing diversity and intimidating other species. They can contaminate food with droppings, and quickly deplete bird food supplies.

Interestingly, starlings have the talent to mimic sounds and songs. This can become problematic when they imitate distress calls of other birds at the feeding ground.

One instance of their resourcefulness was when a small flock cleared an entire pile of unsold bread from behind a bakery in no time. This highlights their capacity to consume large amounts of resources quickly.

Bird Food Starlings Won’t Eat

To ensure that starlings don’t devour your bird food, discover effective solutions in the ‘Bird Food Starlings Won’t Eat’ section. Explore the types of bird food to avoid along with alternative bird food options for deterring these pesky birds. Uncover strategies to attract other bird species while keeping the starlings at bay.

Types of Bird Food to Avoid

Bird lovers ponder what bird food to avoid. To answer this, here’s a list of things to keep away from our feathered friends. Let’s have a closer look.

Bird Food Ingredients Potential Harm:

  1. Bread: Yeast & refined flours in bread can upset birds’ digestion.
  2. Salty Snacks: Too much salt can make birds dehydrated & damage their kidneys.
  3. Chocolate: Chocolate contains Theobromine – toxic to birds & may cause death.
  4. Processed Meats: High sodium & preservatives can be bad for birds.

These aren’t the only things to avoid. Natural, species-appropriate foods like fresh fruit, veg, seeds & suet are better for birds & safer.

Research any new food for birds before feeding. Consult conservation organizations or avian experts.

In conclusion, be mindful of bird food. It’s key to the health & happiness of our feathered companions.

Alternative Bird Food Options

Pumpkin seeds, mealworms, and suet are great to attract different bird species.

Sunflower seeds and cracked corn make a diverse meal for many birds.

Fruits like berries and oranges in feeders offer essential nutrients for birds with special diets.

A friend of mine tried grape jelly in her hummingbird feeder. She was surprised when the hummingbirds flocked to it!

Thinking outside the box can give delightful results when feeding birds.

Tips for Keeping Starlings Away from Bird Food

To effectively keep starlings away from your bird food, utilize physical deterrents, environmental modifications, and feeder placement tips. These solutions will help you protect your desired bird species from unwanted starling invasions.

Physical Deterrents

Combat pesky starlings with various measures! Bird spikes installed on feeders or perches prevents them from accessing food. Netting covering the entire feeding area allows smaller birds to access food, while baffles create barriers that block starlings. Motion-activated deterrents, such as sound or motion emitters, can also be used to disrupt their feeding patterns. Offer small mesh bags filled with suet or mealworms, and remove spilled seed from the ground to minimize attraction. Implement these strategies to maintain a peaceful dining experience for desired avian guests while deterring starlings.

Environmental Modifications

Protect bird food from starlings! There are several environmental modifications that can help. These aim to make the environment bad for starlings, so they won’t come near the food.

Use feeders with small openings. Starlings have bigger beaks than other birds. They won’t be able to get the food through these small openings. This ensures that small birds can still access the food and makes starlings not want to come near it.

Install baffles or cages around the feeders. Baffles are disk-like structures that large birds can’t land on. Cages create a physical barrier that only small birds can pass through. They both effectively stop starlings from getting close to the food.

Position the feeders near dense vegetation. Bushes provide cover for small birds, while making it hard for starlings to come close without being noticed. A naturalistic setting will attract desired birds and keep starlings away.

This idea has been around for decades. Bird enthusiasts noticed the increase in starling numbers and their dominance near feeders. To protect their birds, they experimented with different methods to stop the starlings. Over time, these environmental modifications have been successful in keeping starlings away and providing a better feeding experience for all birds.

Feeder Placement Tips

Positioning your bird feeder correctly can reduce starlings’ access to the bird food. Here are some tips:

  • Hang it high – 6 feet or higher.
  • Install a baffle or cage.
  • Place close to obstacles.
  • Minimize flat surfaces.
  • Use multiple feeders.

Also, keep the feeding area clean to reduce starling activity. Offer seed varieties that they don’t like, such as Nyjer or safflower.

In addition, use deterrents like reflective objects, noise-makers, or predator decoys. This will make them stay away.

By implementing these tips, you can create an environment better suited for other species.


Feeding birds can be tricky, especially when we’re trying to repel starlings. After some research and trial-and-error, we’ve got a few ideas.

Firstly, get feeders designed for small birds. These have smaller perches and openings, so it’s harder for starlings to reach the food.

Secondly, include suet or mealworms in the bird food. Starlings aren’t fans!

Thirdly, choose seed blends minus milo or cracked corn. Starlings love these, so stay away. Instead, opt for black oil sunflower seeds or nyjer seeds.

Finally, clean up the area regularly. This keeps a healthy environment and starlings away.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What kind of bird food will starlings not eat?

Starlings typically avoid foods that are spicy or have strong odors. They also tend to dislike foods that contain garlic or chili peppers.

2. Will starlings eat suet?

Yes, starlings are known to eat suet. However, if you want to discourage starlings from eating suet, you can try using a suet feeder with smaller access holes or one that is designed to deter larger birds.

3. Do starlings eat peanuts?

Starlings are known to eat peanuts, so it’s best to avoid using peanuts in bird feeders if you don’t want to attract them.

4. Can starlings be deterred with specific types of feeders?

Yes, certain types of feeders can help deter starlings. Tube feeders with small perches or mesh feeders with smaller openings can make it more difficult for starlings to access the food. Also, weight-activated feeders that close off access when heavier birds land on them can be effective.

5. Are there any fruits or vegetables that starlings won’t eat?

Starlings generally enjoy a wide range of fruits and vegetables. However, they tend to avoid citrus fruits like lemons and grapefruits.

6. How can I protect my bird food from starlings?

There are several methods you can try to protect your bird food from starlings. Using feeders with built-in baffles or cages can make it difficult for starlings to access the food. Placing feeders in locations where starlings have limited access, such as near dense shrubbery or under eaves, can also help.

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.