Starlings and Blackbirds

by Ken

Red Winged Blackbird

Red Winged Blackbird

Question About Starlings & Blackbirds


The starlings and black birds are taking over my feeders. What can I do?



Hi Ken

Thank you for asking!

It is very discouraging when the Starlings and Blackbirds decide to make your feeding station their favorite dining spot. But there are a few things you can try:

    1. Stop filling your feeders that they are visiting for 2-3 weeks and hopefully they will move on to another location. But the draw back to this is of course that you will loose the birds you want to see for a while too. But they will return!

    2. Clean out your feeders well and then fill them with safflower seed only. Some birds love safflower, especially Cardinals, but most do not, including Starlings and Blackbirds. Keep this up for 2-3 weeks and hopefully the unwanted ones will move on.

    3. Use tube feeders which Starlings and Blackbirds cannot sit on. You could put up 2 or 3 offering sunflower seed, nyjer seed and peanuts in the shell. Just make sure the perches are short enough 1 to 1 1/2 inch long so that small birds can still use them but the larger birds you do not want cannot sit on them. Wider tubes are also better than narrow ones.

Goldfinch tube feeder photoGoldfinch tube feeder

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Hope this helps.

Happy birding!


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> > Starlings & Blackbirds

A reader has made a very interesting comment about his experience with Blue Jays and Crows in his backyard. I encourage everyone to read it and I would be interested to hear what your experience is? Click on the link below to read the comment.

Comments for Starlings and Blackbirds

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by: Anonymous

Very insightful comments Joe from Michigan. Been noticing those behaviors myself.

Blue Jays and Crows
by: Joe from Michigan

The bigger birds like blue jays also need there own area to feed. I have found after bird feeding for a year, it's very crucial to attract blue jays and crows to feeding stations. I observe that the blue jays and crows on a daily basis protect the feeders from hawks and cats.

Blue jay?s song is loud when they first begin coming on your property to feed. Within a month the blue jays become very quiet and only make loud calls to one another to let each other know food is available or a predator is near.

The small songbirds wait for the arrival of crows and blue jays in the morning. They appreciate the protection.

Crows, blue jays, squirrels and small song birds forage together around feeders as well.

Crows do not kill songbirds at feeders, they protect them. Crows as well have a loud song, eventually after a few weeks like blue jays, they will come in and feed quietly.

Crows and blue jays at first come in loud because they are establishing territory. When this phase is over it is worth it and wonderful to watch them all living peacefully amongst each other.

I honestly believe that the crows amongst other wildlife in my yard want to be accepted more then anything else. It took 2 months for the songbirds to not scatter when crows showed up, but now the small songbirds sit on same branches with the crows and doves.

Joe from Michigan

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