What to Feed European Starlings?

The intricate world of avian nutrition is essential to understand the diet of European Starlings. This article shows what foods are best.

To explore this topic more, it is necessary to examine the elements that contribute to a balanced diet for the birds. Knowing their natural habitat and feeding patterns helps us decide the perfect food choices for them.

It is also important to consider the nutritional requirements of the European Starlings to come up with an ideal feeding plan. This helps us improve their health and well-being when we observe them.

Interestingly, according to ‘The Cornell Lab of Ornithology’, European Starlings can survive on many different food sources. They are truly adaptable creatures.

Understanding the dietary needs of European starlings

European starlings need a specific diet to be looked after well. It should have plant and animal matter. Providing the right foods will guarantee their health.

Insects like beetles, caterpillars, and grasshoppers, fruit such as apples, berries, and grapes, seeds like sunflower and millet, waste grain like wheat and corn, and suet (animal fat mixed with fruits and seeds) are all suitable for the birds. European starlings may also eat small vertebrates like lizards and amphibians. They are opportunistic eaters and may scavenge for food.

A wildlife rehabilitator once cared for a European starling with a broken wing which couldn’t fly or find food. They provided it with insects, fruits, and seeds, and it made a full recovery and was able to return to its home.

Knowing the dietary needs of European starlings and giving them proper nutrition is vital for their wellbeing and conservation.

Recommended foods for European starlings

European starlings need special foods to stay healthy and active. Here are some tips:

  1. Bugs! They love them. Mealworms, crickets, and waxworms are all good options for essential proteins.
  2. Fruits! Berries, grapes, apples, pears – just make sure to remove any seeds or pits.
  3. Seeds! Small ones like millet, sunflower hearts, and hemp seeds give fats, carbs, and proteins.
  4. Water! Fresh water every day is vital for hydration.

Fun Fact: European starlings aren’t from North America. They were introduced in the late 1800s by a group of people who wanted to bring birds from Shakespeare’s plays to America.

Avoiding harmful foods for European starlings

European starlings have a diverse diet – however, certain foods must be avoided to ensure their health. Here’s what not to feed them:

  • Chocolate – it contains theobromine which is toxic.
  • Avocado – persin can cause heart problems.
  • Caffeine – it will affect their nervous system.
  • Alcohol – it can lead to intoxication and even death.
  • Salty Foods – high levels of salt can dehydrate and damage kidneys.
  • Sugary Foods – too much can cause obesity and other health issues.

Also, avoid spoiled or moldy food. It can cause digestive problems.

The American Acclimatization Society released 100 European starlings into Central Park in the late 1800s – their mission was to introduce all birds mentioned in Shakespeare’s works. Quite an enchanting idea!

Feeding methods for European starlings

European starlings have remarkable feeding strategies that need to be appreciated. These strategies can be broken down into three main points:

  1. First, they consume both plant and animal matter. This consists of fruits, berries, insects, and even small vertebrates.
  2. Second, these starlings forage on the ground and in open spaces like lawns or fields. They have a powerful bill which assists them in searching the soil for insects and larvae.
  3. Lastly, they are talented at catching flying insects in mid-air. They have swift reflexes and can snatch bugs with excellence.

Moreover, it’s worth mentioning that European starlings are social birds. They often feed in large groups called murmurations, where they fly together in coordinated patterns before settling down to feed. This activity enables them to locate food sources more quickly and provides protection in numbers.

Pro Tip: To draw European starlings to your garden, give a range of food sources like suet cakes, mealworms, and fruit feeders. Offering water sources like birdbaths or shallow bowls can also assist in making a pleasant atmosphere for these magnificent birds.

Tips for attracting European starlings to your feeding area

Attracting European starlings is simple! Follow these steps to get them to your feeder:

  1. Offer a variety of food – suet, mealworms, berries, and grapes.
  2. Use a platform feeder – starlings like to eat on flat surfaces.
  3. Provide access to water – a birdbath or shallow dish of water nearby.
  4. Create shelter – plant shrubs or put up birdhouses.
  5. Avoid flocking deterrents – don’t use feeders that discourage large flocks.

Keep your feeding area clean and make sure to refill the food and water sources. With these tips, you’ll be seeing European starlings in your yard soon! Fun fact: they mimic other bird songs in their native range of Europe.


The European Starling is a versatile bird. To attract and support them, we must explore their food sources. A mixture of fruits, insects, and seeds offer a balanced diet for them. Providing clean water is also important. Avoid processed or stale foods. Opt for fresh food to ensure their nutrition and avoid pests. Plus, consider local fruits when feeding other bird species.

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs: What To Feed European Starling

1. What do European Starlings eat?

European starlings have a diverse diet, including both insects and fruits. They commonly feed on earthworms, beetles, ants, caterpillars, spiders, berries, cherries, grapes, and other small fruits.

2. Can I feed European Starlings birdseed?

Yes, European starlings can consume birdseed, but it is not their primary food source. They prefer a diet that includes a variety of insects and fruits along with the birdseed.

3. Are there specific bird feeders for European Starlings?

European starlings will visit most types of bird feeders, especially those with suet or mealworms. However, they may dominate the feeders and scare away other bird species.

4. Can I offer leftovers or bread to European Starlings?

It is not recommended to offer leftovers or bread to European starlings as their diet should primarily consist of insects and fruits. Bread and leftovers do not provide the necessary nutrients for their overall health.

5. Should I provide water for European Starlings?

Yes, it is important to provide fresh water for European starlings to drink and bathe in. A bird bath or shallow dish with clean water will attract them to your yard.

6. What should I avoid feeding European Starlings?

Avoid feeding European starlings with processed food, sugary treats, or foods high in salt content. These can be harmful to their health and may lead to nutritional deficiencies.

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.