Advice needed - "invasion of the mealworm snatchers"

Hi to everyone - this is my first post . I have been feeding a wide range of garden birds sucessfully for about 18 months.  I have not had many starlings in the garden - until now !! I put suet pellets/ blocks out and soaked mealworms scattered on the ground and on feeder trays and they have an area in the garden almost exclusively for them.  A robin visits the garden throughout the day and I am chuffed that I have almost got him to feed from the hand .As I wanted to keep on providing separate mealworms for the robin to ensure he keeps visiting and hopefully will have the trust to come fully to hand, I also put mealworms in a gaurdian feeder. However, unbelievably , the starlings can squeeze through the holes ( they are about one and half inches by 2" ) - I couldn't believe my eyes!!  I have had a look  for another gaurdian with smaller holes but  I think they would still be able to stick their necks in. Has anyone got any advice on a gaurdian they can,t get into before I buy up the whole of the garden centre? The poor robin looks so dejected when his previously exclusive supply of mealworms are disappearing!

Many thanks

See my Flickr photos here.

  • Hi,

    I have one of these feeders which the starlings in my garden were unable to get in. I don't use it at the moment as nothing else would use it either. I know another member on here (woodpecker) uses these with great success.

    Here is a link to one supplier

    Sarah

    Welcome to the forums

    I've learned that I still have a lot to learn...

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/bramble67/

  • Thanks for the great advice - I think one of those will be added to the vast array of parapahnalia that I have already . I am determined  - those starlings will not beat me !! ( but probably will )

    Regards Jayne

    See my Flickr photos here.

  • Hi Welsh lass I have the same gaurdian feeder as Bramble and Doggie. It is well used by the bluetits great tits coal tits sparrows and one robin. The entertainment comes from the Starlings attempts to gain access and I am often caught singing nah nah nanny nah nah.
    Starlings are the bain of my life at the moment I have Blackbirds that come down when I whistle for them, but they are pushed out of the way by the mobb of little asbos.

    Of all creatures, man is the most detestable, he is the only creature that inflicts pain for sport, knowing it to be pain.
    ~ Mark Twain

  • Hi welsh lass

    The Guardian pictured in Bramble's post is Starling proof. I have 2 like it and even though they have tried very hard, no Starling has ever made it inside that mesh.

    These Guardians are available from CJ Wild Bird Food, and you can find odd ones (with a solid base) in some garden centres if you search around. I don't know whereabouts you are in the UK, but there was one available in Moss End about a month ago.

    Your one might have larger gaps that Starlings can squeeze through. The RSPB version isn't Starling proof either.

    As a special treat have you ever considered offering your Robin live mealworms?

    http://www.wormsdirectuk.co.uk/acatalog/mealworms.html

    Best wishes Chris

    Click Here to see my photos

  • In reply to Woodpecker:

    Dear Woodpecker,

    Thanks for further confirmation that those particular gaurdians should do the trick! I do feed live mealworms to the robin - it was the temptation of these that has got him/her to come so close to me. The robin has started to come as soon as it hears the squeak of the back door when I put out the first food in the morning - so I can ensure he gets something until the new gaurdian arrives!  I relocated to Cornwall from Wales 3 years ago. The garden centres down here tend to be smaller independant ones, which is great, but do not always have the range on offer as in the chain stores,so I have not seen that particular type. I will now order one online with confidence !!

    Regards Jayne

    See my Flickr photos here.

  • In reply to welsh lass:

    Hi,

    Haith's does a mealworm feeder that's starling proof:

    Here

    The reviews sound good :)

    'Dip a dee dah, dip a dee ay, we're not seeing any birds to-day...'

  • In reply to Tern:

    Dear Tern,

    Thanks for the aternative choice of gaurdian - reviews do sound good and also bit cheaper than the other one.I could use both types I keep telling myself - oh the temptation !!

    Regards Jayne

    See my Flickr photos here.

  • In reply to welsh lass:

    Hi welsh lass,

    If you haven't bought it yet because you are still unsure, I've just ordered the same one Tern has suggested so I can let you know how I get on with it.   Hopefully it should be coming either tomorrow or Thursday. :-)

    My thanks also to Tern for her post as it was on the back of this that I ordered one! :-)

    Kerry

    Regards

    Kerry

     http://www.flickr.com/photos/kezmo6310/

  • In reply to Kezmo:

    Kezmo said:
    My thanks also to Tern for her post as it was on the back of this that I ordered one! :-)

     

    No problem! I'm rather addicted to birdfeeder-internet-surfing so I do know rather a lot of feeders! lol

    'Dip a dee dah, dip a dee ay, we're not seeing any birds to-day...'

  • In reply to Kezmo:

    Hi,

    Thanks- I'll definately keep a look out for how you get on with yours. I have spent quite a lot recently on feeders - invested in some better quality ones as I get birds visiting the feeders most of the day - so wouldn't hurt to hang on a bit  longer before ordering one !!

    Regards Jayne

     

    See my Flickr photos here.