Is there a Starling Defeating bird feeder?

Discussion in 'Bird' started by fish_4_all, May 4, 2010.

  1. fish_4_all

    fish_4_all In Flower

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    I have thousands of starling here and every feeder I have ever bought is emptied on a daily basis by them. I want to feed the wrens, wood peckers, swallow tails and the other friendly birds instead of these hoards of invaders.

    Is there a specific type of bird feeder or a special type of seed to put in that will defeat Starling?

    Also, I prefer to make my own so if anyone has mesh sizes or plans I would really appreciate it.

    I know it is a lot to ask but is there a way to feed the wood peckers and keep starling away from it? special seeds/food for the woodpeckers that the starling won't eat.
     



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  2. toni

    toni Mistress of Garden Junque Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    I only feed Safflower seeds. The Grackles, Starlings and Squirrels do not eat it so the Sparrows, House Finch, Red Wings, Cardinals and Doves get to feed to their hearts content.
     
  3. eileen

    eileen Resident Taxonomist Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    I have the same problem with starlings. I can't tell you how to get rid of them but here's what I do. Starlings love fat balls so I put one out just for them. They then tend to leave the peanuts, nyger seeds and sunflower hearts alone and concentrate on it. I also make sure that my feeders are placed in the garden in such a way that it's difficult for the starlings to get at the food.
     
  4. fish_4_all

    fish_4_all In Flower

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    Eileen, how do you mean? Where do you place them that heps defeat them?
     
  5. eileen

    eileen Resident Taxonomist Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    I simply hang the feeders on a feeding pole's 'branches'. The starlings find it hard to perch on them to feed so tend to leave them alone. The fat ball is much easier for them so they tend to eat that and ignore the rest.
     
  6. Papa2mykids

    Papa2mykids Seedling

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    Feeders without perches or trays will slow them down, but to stop starlings from feeding is to go 100% Black oil sunflower and or safflower.

    Starlings do not have the beak strength to crack them open (grackles can crack sunflower).

    Oilers also attracted the best varieties of birds. Birds will only go to safflower if nothing else is around.

    Wrens, swallows, orioles and most neotropical birds are insect and fruit eaters (that is why they migrate). You wont find them at your feeders.



    Oilers attract woodpeckers, finches, cardinals, jays, grosbeaks and many other desired birds.

    Give it a try, then you can use feeders with perches and trays.

    Ron
     
  7. topekachef

    topekachef New Seed

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    I found that if I left the feeders empty for about a week they moved on. Then it just took a little while for the birds (the fun ones!) to come back to the feeders.
     
  8. Wrennie

    Wrennie In Flower

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    You can make a "cage" out of chicken wire. Make it wide enough so that the starlings can't sit on the outside and reach in. The smaller birds will hop inside the cage no problem and get to the food.
    To attract wrens you can buy dry or live mealworms at good wild bird stores to offer and put out suet. They do come to my feeders. Orioles, if you get the feeders out early will come to nectar feeders and grape jelly.
    I also get catbirds at my suet. Not a typical feeder bird. And a thrasher this year.
    Theres a small bird feeder called for clingers only by songbird station. Starlings and other perchers cant get on it. chickadees, nuthatches , woodpeckers can cling to its side.
    This page gives some pictures of starling proof feeder ideas; http://wdfw.wa.gov/wlm/living/starlings.htm