Saying hello, and asking a bird related question

Hi all

New member here, so firstly a big hello to everyone and I hope I am posting in the right place.  I have a question, mainly about starlings …

Firstly a bit of background info.  I have been feeding birds for many years.  I have a bird table, a hanging bird feeding station and a couple of hanging feeders in the tree at the bottom of my garden.  I also have two bird baths

Now, onto my question.  I love starlings, but I get lots of them and they do tend to take over a bit.  I don’t mind that so much with the bird table, but I try to keep the bird feeder for the little birds to use.  The only way I have been able to keep the starlings off the feeding station is to remove all suet from it, so I now have a fat ball feeder hanging under the bird table and another in the tree, but the starlings and some jackdaws tend to monopolise these and the little ones get pushed out

i would really love to be able to offer some suet to the little ones, does anyone have any experience of feeders with guards (or anything else) which have worked at deterring starlings?  I tried one of the feeders with a roof with adjustable height, but the starlings easily worked around that and as long as they could get their head into the gap, they managed to cling on and eat all the suet (it was actually quite hilarious to watch)

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated

Many thanks, Cathy

  • We have squirrels so feeder guardians are a must. Sadly we almost never get starlings as a result. I use the ones they sell in the RSPB shop and they work pretty well — suggest trying one on one of your feeders and leaving the table for the starlings (which also need help, as you’ll no doubt be aware).

    IIRC it took a while for the small birds to trust the “caged” feeders but worth persevering. One more thing to clean, though.

  • Hi Cathy,

    I use 2 feeders with guards, and both are fine, one is the RSPB seed feeder one, and other I got has like a little tub in the bottom, for mealworms, or I put the small suet pellets in, later in the year. The cages I described as blocking larger than a starling, and only once did a fledgling starling wiggle it's way in....hysterical to watch... and they haven't bothered since, and the new generations don't even try.

    Link Here  It took the smaller birds a couple of days to suss out it was safe

    Hope that helps

  • Feeders with guards on can deter the smaller birds, though as already said, they do often find they can negotiate the guards. We have never had any success with guards, but that is most likely due to neighbours very close by also having feeders without restricted access.

    We do have a squirrel dome, which after some interesting moments in its early days, because the squirrels were not going to be beaten, as time and our determination has progressed, the dome is now a perfect squirrel deterrent.

    For a squirrel dome to be effective, the feeding station needs to be at least 2 mrts away from any structure that a squirrel can access, trees, fences, hedges, sheds etc, and the dome needs to be at least 1 mtr above ground level, for they will try to jump on it and access the feeders.

    While it may seem the starlings, and other medium sized birds take over the feeders, the smaller birds will find their moments and be just as happy to feed when the starlings are not around, or as we see here, often comfortably alongside.

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler