How to get rid of European starlings from your bird feeder

Are your bird feeders being overrun by European starlings? Have you tried everything to get rid of them and still have starlings? If so, you are not alone. The European starling is an invasive species and are usually an unwelcome visitor to most bird feeders.

We, too, have had issues with this species at our PA Bird Feeder 1 live streaming camera, In past years we have had flocks of 20 or more starlings at this feeder’s system during the winter months when the flock up and overrun feeders. However, over the past 2-years we have made significant changes to the feeder system and have been able to deter this unwanted species for the most part. We still have a few starlings showing up during snow cover days, but they do not stay around long since they can’t get much feed.

Here are a few things we did that helps. Your mileage may vary.

  1. If you have a suet feeder up more than likely they are attacking that. You need to take that suet feeder down. None of the commercial suet feeders we have tested including upside down suet feeders will keep the starlings off. The commercial upside-down suet feeder uses a cage to hold the suet cake and the starlings can hold on to the cage and feed.
  2. We did construct our own suet feeder using a log about 5” in diameter and 2’ long and drilled 4 holes about 2 ¼” in diameter along one side. We hung the log in a horizontal position which allows the woodpeckers to feed but won’t allow enough grip for the starlings to feed. (See attached photo).
  3. Take down platform feeders next to tube feeders that are designed to be starling proof. The starlings will use the platforms to take short breaks in trying to hold on to perches designed to keep them off.
  4. If you’re feeding mealworms for species like bluebirds, put the mealworms in a cage that has 1 ½” x 1 ½” square holes. This is the prefect size to allow a bluebird to get inside but will keep the starlings out. (See attached photo of the cages feeder we constructed)

Good luck with your bird feeding. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask!

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3 months ago

Thanks for sharing. I read many of your blog posts, cool, your blog is very good.