What Seeds Do Blackbirds and Starlings Dislike?

Blackbirds and starlings can be a nuisance in gardens, devouring seeds meant for other birds. If you’re looking for ways to keep them away, there are several seeds they don’t like.

One seed they avoid is Nyjer seed. This small, black seed is derived from the African yellow daisy and is rich in oil. Finches and other small songbirds are attracted to it, but blackbirds and starlings usually don’t go near it. They could find it hard to extract the tiny seeds from special feeders.

Safflower seed is another option. It has a bitter taste so they don’t prefer it. However, it may take time to attract smaller songbirds.

Chilli flakes or powder in your birdseed mix can act as a deterrent too. The capsaicin present in chilli peppers creates a burning sensation which they don’t like.

Another way is using suet cakes infused with hot pepper. Other birds don’t mind the heat, but blackbirds and starlings do. You can easily find these at pet stores or online.

So, using Nyjer seed, safflower seed, chilli flakes/powder, or suet cakes infused with hot pepper can keep blackbirds and starlings away. It could also attract a wider variety of smaller songbirds to your garden.

Reasons why blackbirds and starlings do not like certain seeds

Blackbirds and starlings are known for their dislike of certain types of seeds. Understanding the reasons behind their aversion to these seeds can help in effective bird feeding strategies. Here are a few key points to consider:

  • Seed Size: Blackbirds and starlings generally avoid large seeds as they are harder to handle and consume.
  • Seed Texture: Certain seeds have a tough outer shell that can be difficult for these birds to crack open, leading to a preference for softer seeds.
  • Seed Taste: The bitter taste of some seeds is unappealing to blackbirds and starlings, causing them to reject these seeds in favor of more palatable options.
  • Seed Availability: These birds may have developed a natural aversion to seeds that are not typically found in their natural habitat or environment.
  • Seed Preference: Blackbirds and starlings have specific preferences when it comes to the types of seeds they consume, which may explain their rejection of certain seeds.

It is worth noting that the details above provide valuable insights into the feeding behaviors of blackbirds and starlings, helping bird enthusiasts make informed choices when selecting seeds for their feeders. As a pro tip, offering a variety of seeds that are known to be favored by these birds can attract them to your garden or feeding area.

Seed 1: Chia seeds – it’s like offering a fitness instructor a doughnut, let’s see those blackbirds and starlings resist this nutritious temptation!

Seed 1: [Name of Seed]

Seed 1: [Name of Seed]

Uncover the mysterious story of [Name of Seed], a seed disliked by both blackbirds and starlings. Traverse the peculiar world of avian seed preferences.

Let’s take a closer look at the characteristics that might explain their aversion:

  • Blackbirds: Small size, smooth texture, pale brown color, low nutritional content.
  • Starlings: Medium-large size, rough texture, dark brown color, moderately high nutritional content.

What’s more intriguing is that the texture of [Name of Seed] appears to be the main culprit. Its smoothness clashes with their beaks’ preference for coarser surfaces. Ornithologists remain baffled.

A pro tip: To attract blackbirds and starlings to your garden, try offering alternative seeds with different textures.

Seed 2: [Name of Seed]

Seed 2: Foxtail Millet

Why do blackbirds and starlings not prefer Foxtail Millet? Let’s explore!

The nutrient content of foxtail millet is low in fat and protein. That could be why these birds don’t opt for it.

Taste preference might be another factor. Foxtail millet has a relatively bland taste compared to other seeds. Birds have different tastes, just like us humans.

Plus, foxtail millet contains cyanide compounds. These toxins might cause adverse effects if consumed in large quantities. This could contribute to the avoidance of these specific seeds.

Foxtail millet has been cultivated for thousands of years. It is a staple food in certain areas of Asia and Africa.

Blackbirds’ and starlings’ dislike for certain seeds, such as foxtail millet, shows us how these birds make their food choices. It gives us an appreciation for nature’s intricate food webs.

How to effectively keep blackbirds and starlings away from your garden or bird feeders

To effectively deter blackbirds and starlings from your garden or bird feeders, utilize these three simple steps:

  1. Choose seed varieties disliked by blackbirds and starlings: These birds are less likely to be attracted to seeds such as safflower, nyjer (thistle), or hot pepper-infused varieties. By opting for these seed options, you can significantly reduce their presence.
  2. Use physical barriers: Create physical barriers around your garden or bird feeders to prevent blackbirds and starlings from accessing them. This can include placing netting over the plants or using protective covers for feeders. Ensure these barriers are sturdy and well-secured.
  3. Employ scare tactics: Implement various scare tactics to discourage blackbirds and starlings. These may include hanging reflective tape or wind chimes in the garden, erecting scarecrows, or utilizing motion-activated devices that emit distress calls or sudden noises.

In addition, it is important to keep in mind that blackbirds and starlings are intelligent creatures, so changing your tactics periodically can be beneficial in maintaining their deterrence.

A true fact: Blackbirds, in particular, have the ability to mimic various sounds and songs with remarkable accuracy. Their vocal repertoire can include imitating other bird calls, sirens, and even human speech patterns. (Source: Audubon Society)

Say goodbye to pesky blackbirds and starlings with this simple tip that will have them flocking for the hills faster than you can say ‘birdseed buffet’.

Tip 1: [Tip to deter blackbirds and starlings]

Having blackbirds and starlings in your garden or around your bird feeders can be a real nuisance. But, don’t fret! Here are some great ways to shoo them away:

  • Install bird netting to form a barrier that will stop the birds from accessing your plants or bird feeders.
  • Hang reflective objects like old CDs or aluminum strips in the sun. The reflection will scare the birds away.
  • Put up a fake predator such as a hawk silhouette or owl statue. This will frighten blackbirds and starlings.
  • Set up noise deterrents like wind chimes, bells, or a motion-activated sprinkler system.
  • Remove food sources they are attracted to, like seeds or fruits.
  • Plant sunflowers, marigolds, and holly to produce natural scents that repel the birds.

It’s also a good idea to prune trees and shrubs near the garden or bird feeders to eliminate perching spots. So, take action today and have a peaceful garden that’s free of these birds!

Tip 2: [Tip to deter blackbirds and starlings]

If blackbirds and starlings are causing trouble in your garden or by your bird feeders, use these tips to deter them:

  • Use nets or cages to block them from accessing the bird feeders.
  • Get feeders that have small openings or adjustable perches, which they can’t access easily.
  • Skip food like bread, cheese, or pet food, which attracts them.
  • Put up scare devices, like reflective tape, wind chimes, or owl decoys.
  • Clean up spilled birdseed from the ground.
  • Plant holly bushes and use shiny objects like aluminum foil strips.

Remember to change up your tactics regularly. Starlings are smart and can get used to certain deterrents. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology found that starlings can even mimic human speech!


Analysis of the data and exploration of seed choices have revealed that blackbirds and starlings are not keen on sunflower seeds. The taste and texture do not seem to be appealing to them, thus they have no interest in eating them.

When picking out seeds for your bird feeders, it is important to consider the preferences of different birds. Sunflower seeds have been proven to be disliked by these two species due to their texture and size.

In addition, research shows that nyjer (thistle) seeds and millet might not be favored either. These seeds are smaller and may not be as attractive or satisfying to the birds.

Bird lovers should be aware of this information when setting up their bird feeding stations. To draw in various birds, it is best to not include sunflower, nyjer, and millet seeds.

Do not miss your chance to attract a variety of birds! Keeping in mind the likes and dislikes of each species, especially blackbirds and starlings, is essential. By selecting the right seed types, you can make a cozy atmosphere which will draw in lots of lovely feathered friends to your backyard.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What seed do blackbirds and starlings not like?

Blackbirds and starlings do not like safflower seeds. They tend to avoid this type of seed due to its bitter taste and hard outer shell.

2. Are there any other seeds that blackbirds and starlings dislike?

Yes, blackbirds and starlings also tend to stay away from nyjer (thistle) seeds. These tiny seeds are not very appealing to them and are often left untouched.

3. Why do blackbirds and starlings avoid safflower seeds?

Blackbirds and starlings have a strong preference for softer and more easily digestible seeds. Safflower seeds have a tough shell and a slightly bitter taste, making them unattractive to these birds.

4. Can I use safflower seeds to deter blackbirds and starlings from my bird feeder?

Yes, using safflower seeds can be an effective way to discourage blackbirds and starlings from visiting your bird feeder. Since they do not like the taste of safflower seeds, they are more likely to seek food elsewhere.

5. Are there any disadvantages to using safflower seeds in my bird feeder?

One disadvantage of using safflower seeds is that some desirable bird species, such as cardinals and chickadees, may also avoid them. However, many bird enthusiasts find that the benefits of deterring blackbirds and starlings outweigh this drawback.

6. Can I mix safflower seeds with other types of birdseed?

Absolutely! Mixing safflower seeds with other birdseed varieties is a common practice. This allows you to attract a wider variety of bird species while still discouraging blackbirds and starlings.

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.