Monday February 27, 2017

How to Defeat Starlings
(and keep them off your suet)


Some great tips for defeating starlings - or at least slowing them down!Starlings, brought to the United States from Europe in the late 1800's, are generally thought of as nuisance birds and, even worse, as health hazards.  They are also blamed for transferring diseases between livestock via bird droppings. 

Because of their similarity in species size and nesting habits, starlings are not only a nuisance, but a threat to woodpeckers as well.  Like the woodpecker, starlings nest in tree cavities (holes).  However, starlings are not able to create the hole or the nest, so they hang around while the woodpecker creates the nest and then they kick the woodpecker out of the nest it just created.  This process continues over and over again until the woodpecker either finds a suitable starling-free location or just gets lucky.

Another option is to install a woodpecker nesting box.  There are a variety of nesting box solutions out there, but the best seems to be one with an inward sloping face so non-clinging birds can not easily enter the nesting port.  The nesting box must also be protected from raccoons and squirrels via baffles, etc.  A project like this can reap great rewards if you enjoy having woodpeckers in your area.

If you would rather just focus on the feeding aspect and don't want starlings wiping out your suet, read on...Starling Stopper, Jr. Suet Log Feeder offers a natural log suet feeder that prevents all but the smartest of starlings from getting much suet at all.  The best those starlings can do is to launch themselves from a nearby location make a stab or two from the underside of the feeder.  They get very little of the suet and look for easier food sources and this saves your valuable, quality suet for woodpeckers.  As the suet is eaten from each feeding port, less is visible to starlings, but woodpeckers, nuthatches, chickadees, and other clinging birds can still find and eat the suet.  This way, your suet lasts longer and you have suet available when your woodpeckers and other clinging birds stop by.

Starling Proof Suet FeederHere is an example of a Squirrel and Starling Proof Feeder.  On Day 2 after hanging it, sparrows gained enough confidence to enter the feeder.  However, shortly thereafter, a starling landed on the feeder and then reached to make some stabs at the suet.  While it does seem to be "squirrel proof," it is no more "starling proof" than our Starling Stopper, Jr. Suet Feeder, it's less natural looking, and it costs $25-$30 and up.  There's a similar metal design at our local wild bird store are going for more than $40. It is square in shape and larger in width, keeping starlings from reaching in from the sides.  However, starlings can reach up from the bottom in that model and get a bit of suet.  While a purist would point out that this suet feeder is technically not starling proof, it is "starling proof" enough for most people.

We're also content to think of ours as a "starling proof" enough suet feeder because we keep starlings off our suet so they can not wipe it out.  If you agree, then check out Starling Stopper, Jr. feeder out!


Starling-resistant suet woodpecker feedersa>
Thoroughly researched and tested
Affordably priced

Monday February 27, 2017 03:44:03 PM