Keeping aggressive starlings out of bird feeders can be a challenge. Starlings will go after suet, seed and mealworms with a persistence that is both pretty awe inspiring and very frustrating. Over the years, I’ve honed strategies to keep starlings from taking over the feeders in my yard.
Note: This post is an overview of how I manage starlings at my feeders. You will find links to more in-depth discussions of each strategy and/or feeder reviews throughout the post.
Looking for suet that European Starlings and Common Grackles won’t eat? In cooler months of the year, try pure suet. I’ve been experimenting with this type of commercial suet this winter and spring. Pure suet has downsides, but it is worth adding to your bird feeding bag of tricks. Here’s why.
Large mixed “blackbird” flocks are the bane of backyard birdwatchers in late winter and early spring. Appearing in mass, groups of Common Grackles, European Starlings, Brown-Headed Cowbirds and Red-Winged Blackbirds can take over feeders and push other birds out. But this year, for many reasons, the blackbird flocks are not as much of a problem in my yard. Some of this is because of things I’ve done to set up my feeders and some is beyond my control.