How To Get Rid Of Starlings But Not Other Birds

Last Updated on April 19, 2023 by

Are you tired of those pesky starlings taking over your bird feeder and scaring away all the other feathered friends? I know I am! But before we go about getting rid of these birds, it’s important to note that not all methods are created equal. We want to ensure that we’re only targeting the starlings and not harming any other birds in the process.

Luckily, there are a few effective ways to deter starlings without negatively impacting other species. In this article, we’ll explore some humane strategies for keeping starlings at bay while still attracting your favorite backyard birds. So grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and let’s learn how to make our feeders a welcoming spot for everyone except those bothersome starlings.

Understanding The Behavior Of Starlings

Have you ever been annoyed by the loud and boisterous chatter of starlings in your yard? These birds are notorious for their disruptive behavior, often taking over bird feeders and scaring off other feathered friends. If you’re looking to get rid of these pesky creatures without causing harm to other birds, it’s important to understand their behavior.

Starlings are highly social animals that travel in large flocks. They prefer open areas with short grass and plenty of food sources, making suburban neighborhoods an ideal location. Unfortunately, they also have a tendency to invade nesting sites and compete aggressively for resources with other bird species.

To effectively deter starlings from your property, it’s crucial to learn about their habits and preferences. By understanding what attracts them and how they interact with other birds, you can take steps towards creating an environment that is less inviting to these noisy intruders. So let’s dive into identifying starlings versus other types of birds!

Identifying Starlings Vs. Other Birds

Now that we understand the behavior of starlings, it’s time to identify them from other birds. Starlings are small in size and have a black iridescent plumage with white spots. They fly in flocks and make a lot of noise while doing so. Other birds like sparrows or doves have different physical characteristics, making them easy to distinguish.

Identifying starlings is crucial if you want to get rid of them without harming other bird species. Once you know which birds are causing trouble, it’s time to think about how to keep them away using non-lethal methods. Physical deterrents can be an effective tool; these include bird netting, spikes or shock tape around areas where they roost or nest.

Using physical deterrents can help you control the presence of starlings on your property without affecting other beneficial bird populations. In the next section, we will explore some practical ways for implementing these measures effectively.

Using Physical Deterrents

So, you want to get rid of those pesky starlings but don’t want to harm any other birds in the process? Fear not! There are a variety of physical deterrents that can help solve your problem.

One effective method is installing bird netting over areas where starlings tend to congregate. This thin, mesh-like material creates an invisible barrier that prevents starlings from landing or roosting on surfaces such as rooftops or garden beds. It’s important to make sure the netting is taut and properly secured, so there aren’t any gaps for sneaky birds to slip through.

Another option is using spike strips or wire coils on flat surfaces like ledges and roofs. These devices create an uncomfortable surface for starlings to perch on, without causing them harm. They’re also visually unobtrusive and won’t detract from the overall aesthetic of your property.

Lastly, consider installing reflective tape or hanging shiny objects around your yard or garden. Starlings are easily spooked by flashes of light and movement, so these visual cues can be helpful in deterring them from certain areas. Just be mindful of placement – you don’t want to accidentally scare away desirable bird species!

Now that we’ve covered some physical deterrent options, let’s move onto another step: installing a squirrel-proof feeder.

Installing A Squirrel-Proof Feeder

Now that we’ve looked at using physical deterrents to keep starlings away, let’s consider the option of installing a squirrel-proof feeder. This can be an effective way to discourage starlings from visiting your bird feeder without affecting other birds.

Squirrel-proof feeders are designed with mechanisms that prevent squirrels and larger birds from accessing the food inside. These mechanisms may include weight-activated perches or cages around the feeding ports. By choosing a feeder with small enough feeding ports, you can also limit access to smaller birds like chickadees and finches while still allowing them to enjoy their meals.

If you decide to invest in a squirrel-proof feeder, here are some tips for making it work effectively:

  • Choose a location away from trees or structures that squirrels could use to jump onto the feeder.
  • Clean up any spilled seed regularly as this will attract more unwanted visitors.
  • Consider filling your feeder with safflower seeds instead of sunflower seeds. Many birds love safflower but starlings tend not to be fans.
  • If all else fails, try adding a baffle above or below your feeder to make it even more difficult for pests to reach.

By implementing these strategies, you’ll be able to create a welcoming environment for desirable bird species while discouraging problem birds like starlings.

To further address starling issues, changing your feeding habits is another approach worth considering. Let’s take a look at some ways you can modify what and how much you’re offering in order to decrease the presence of these pesky invaders.

Changing Your Feeding Habits

To keep starlings away from your bird feeders, changing your feeding habits is one effective solution. First and foremost, consider the type of food you’re putting out. Starlings are known to prefer seed mixes that contain millet or cracked corn, so swap those out for a different blend. Safflower seeds are a great option since they have a bitter taste that most birds don’t enjoy but still provide good nutrition.

Another way to deter starlings is by using specialized feeders designed to accommodate smaller birds while making it difficult for larger ones like starlings to access the food inside. These can include tube feeders with small perches or mesh cages around them. You may also want to try placing multiple smaller feeders throughout your yard rather than one large one in order to spread out the activity and make it less appealing to starlings.

Lastly, consider when you’re putting out food. If you typically fill up your feeders early in the morning or late at night, this could be attracting more starlings as they tend to be more active during these times. Instead, try filling your feeders midday when other birds are likely already full and less interested in eating. By following these tips, you’ll hopefully see fewer starlings at your bird feeder in no time!

To take things even further, adding a predator decoy can help scare off not just starlings but other unwanted animals too. Placing a fake owl or hawk nearby might seem intimidating enough to discourage any potential predators from coming near your bird feeder area. Just make sure to move the decoy every once in a while so it doesn’t become too familiar and lose its effectiveness over time!

Adding A Predator Decoy

I’m interested in the idea of adding a predator decoy to get rid of starlings but not other birds. I think it’s worth considering hawk decoys, owl decoys, and bird repellent sounds. I’m wondering if any of these have been successful in the past? Has anyone tried a hawk decoy? Does anyone know if owl decoys have been effective? I’m also interested in bird repellent sounds, how do those work? Let’s discuss how we can best use predator decoys to get rid of starlings without affecting other birds!

Hawk Decoys

I hate starlings. They’re loud, obnoxious, and chase away all the other birds I love to watch in my backyard. But I don’t want to harm any living creatures, so how can I get rid of just the starlings? One solution is adding a predator decoy, like a hawk.

Hawk decoys are designed to look realistic enough that they scare off smaller birds like starlings without actually harming them. The idea is to create an environment where it looks like there’s already a hunter around, which will keep prey animals from feeling safe enough to stick around. It might seem cruel at first glance, but it’s much more humane than using poisons or traps.

The key with using a hawk decoy is placement – you’ll want to put it somewhere visible and high up so that it has maximum impact on your yard. If possible, move it around every few days so that the birds don’t get used to its presence and start ignoring it. With some patience and persistence, you should see fewer starlings hanging around your bird feeders in no time!

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Owl Decoys

So, I’ve been using a hawk decoy in my backyard to scare away the pesky starlings that ruin my birdwatching experience. It’s been working pretty well so far, but I’m always looking for new ways to improve my setup. That’s when I heard about owl decoys – apparently they’re even more effective at deterring birds.

The reason why owls are such great predators is because they hunt at night when most other birds are asleep. This means that during the day, smaller birds instinctively stay away from areas where they sense an owl might be lurking. Owl decoys mimic this predator behavior by creating the illusion of danger around your bird feeders.

Like with the hawk decoy, placement is key when it comes to using an owl decoy. You’ll want to put it somewhere visible and preferably high up, like on top of a pole or tree branch. If you have multiple bird feeding stations, consider getting more than one decoy so that each area is covered. With both a hawk and owl decoy in place, your backyard will become a virtual no-fly zone for unwanted birds!

Bird Repellent Sounds

I’ve been really enjoying the benefits of using a hawk decoy in my backyard to deter pesky birds. However, I’m always on the lookout for new ways to improve my setup and make it even more effective. That’s when I learned about bird repellent sounds – apparently they’re another great tool for keeping unwanted visitors away.

Bird repellent sounds work by emitting high-pitched noises that are irritating or frightening to birds. These can range from recordings of predator calls to electronic devices that emit ultrasonic frequencies. The idea is that these sounds will create an uncomfortable environment for birds, making them less likely to stick around your yard.

Using bird repellent sounds alongside a predator decoy like a hawk or owl can be especially effective at deterring birds. By combining both visual and auditory cues, you’ll create a more convincing illusion of danger in your yard. Just make sure not to use too many different types of deterrents at once, as this could actually have the opposite effect and attract curious birds instead!

Using Sound-Based Deterrents

So, you want to get rid of those pesky starlings without harming any other birds in your backyard? Well, sound-based deterrents might just be the solution for you. These devices emit high-pitched noises that are unbearable for starlings but do not harm any other bird species.

One popular option is a sonic repeller. This device emits various sounds and frequencies that deter starlings from hanging around your yard. Another option is using distress calls. Starling distress calls can be played through speakers or recorded onto a CD and played on loop to scare away these pests.

It’s important to note that while sound-based deterrents may work for some time, they can eventually become ineffective as starlings adapt and learn to ignore the noise. That’s why it’s recommended to switch up the type of sound being emitted every few weeks to keep them guessing. So give sound-based deterrents a try and see if they help reduce the number of starlings in your yard!

Now, if sound-based deterrents aren’t doing the trick, it’s time to consider utilizing visual deterrents. By introducing something visually unappealing or intimidating into your yard, you can discourage starlings from making themselves at home. Here are some effective options to try out: – Hang shiny objects or reflective tape near areas where starlings gather. The movement and reflection will startle them and discourage them from returning.

Utilizing Visual Deterrents

I’m interested in learning more about utilizing visual deterrents to get rid of starlings but not other birds. Visual aversion is a great option to consider, as it involves using bright colors, shapes, and sounds to deter birds from entering certain areas. Scare tactics are also an effective option, and involve using things like fake predators, loud noises, and strobe lights to frighten away birds. Finally, reflective surfaces can also be used to disorient birds, as the reflections can confuse them and make them avoid the area. I’m excited to learn more about how to use these tactics in a way that is safe and effective.

Visual Aversion

Have you ever been frustrated by starlings flocking to your bird feeder, scaring away other birds and consuming all the food? I know I have. But fear not, there are ways to get rid of them without harming any other feathered friends. One method is utilizing visual deterrents.

Visual aversion is a powerful tool in deterring starlings from invading your backyard sanctuary while still allowing other birds to enjoy it. One way to achieve this is through the use of reflective objects such as mirrors or CDs hanging near the feeding area. The constant movement and flashing lights will create confusion for the starlings and cause them to flee.

Another effective visual deterrent is using decoys that resemble predators such as owls or hawks. Starlings are intelligent creatures and recognize potential threats quickly, so having these decoys stationed around your yard can be an excellent prevention measure. However, make sure to move them periodically so they don’t become familiar with their surroundings and lose their effectiveness.

In conclusion, utilizing visual aversion techniques like reflective objects and predator decoys can help keep pesky starlings out of your bird feeding areas while maintaining a welcoming environment for other non-invasive bird species. So next time those blackbirds start causing trouble, try implementing some visually intimidating measures and watch them scatter!

Scare Tactics

So we’ve talked about using reflective objects and predator decoys as visual deterrents to keep starlings away from our bird feeder. But what if those methods don’t work? That’s when it’s time to bring out the big guns – scare tactics.

Scare tactics involve creating a loud noise or sudden movement to startle birds and make them fly away. One simple way to do this is by clapping your hands loudly near the bird feeder whenever you see starlings starting to gather. This may not be practical for everyone, but it can be effective in keeping these unwanted guests at bay.

If you’re looking for something more high-tech, there are also devices available that use motion sensors and flashing lights to scare off birds. These can range from small handheld units to larger installations designed for commercial use. While they may cost more than other methods, they can be very effective in getting rid of starlings and other pests.

In summary, while reflective objects and predator decoys can be great visual deterrents for starlings, sometimes scare tactics are necessary to truly get the job done. Whether it’s clapping your hands or investing in a motion-sensor device, finding the right method for your situation will help ensure that your bird feeding area remains a peaceful haven for non-invasive bird species.

Reflective Surfaces

Now that we’ve explored scare tactics as a means of deterring starlings from our bird feeders, let’s step back and take a closer look at visual deterrents. One effective way to keep these pesky birds away is by using reflective surfaces. This can include anything from shiny objects like CDs or metal pie plates hung near the feeder, to more specialized products like holographic strips or iridescent tape.

Reflective surfaces work by creating an environment that is constantly changing and disorienting for birds. As they approach the feeding area, the reflections will shift and move with every gust of wind or change in sunlight angle. This unpredictability can make it difficult for starlings to feel secure enough to linger around the feeder for long periods of time.

While reflective surfaces are relatively inexpensive and easy to use, there are some downsides to consider. For one thing, their effectiveness may diminish over time as birds become accustomed to them. Additionally, they may not be as visually appealing as other types of deterrents, which could detract from your overall backyard aesthetic.

In conclusion, while scare tactics can certainly be effective in keeping starlings away from your bird feeder, don’t discount the power of visual deterrents like reflective surfaces. By utilizing different techniques together – such as predator decoys alongside reflective objects – you’ll have a better chance of successfully deterring unwanted guests and enjoying all the beauty and diversity that wild birds bring to your backyard.

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Trying Natural Repellents

So, you’ve tried some of the basic tactics to get rid of starlings but they just won’t leave your property. Well, if you’re not interested in using harmful pesticides or traps, there are a few natural repellents that might do the trick.

Firstly, consider planting herbs and flowers like lavender, thyme, and marigolds around your yard. The scent typically deters birds from nesting nearby as it masks their own smells. Additionally, try installing reflective surfaces such as CDs or mirrors on windowsills and other perching spots where starlings tend to gather. This will create flashes of light that can startle them enough to fly away.

Another option is utilizing bird feeders with selective openings for smaller birds while excluding larger ones like starlings. You can also switch up the type of seed you offer to attract specific species that aren’t problematic for you. Just be sure to clean out any spilled seeds regularly so they don’t become an attractive food source for unwanted guests.

But remember, these methods may not work for everyone’s unique situation. If all else fails or you simply want professional advice tailored specifically to your needs, consulting with a wildlife expert could be your best bet. They’ll have extensive knowledge about local bird behavior and non-lethal ways to control them effectively.

Consulting With A Wildlife Expert

I’m not an expert in wildlife management, so I decided to consult with a professional. After some research and recommendations from friends, I found a local wildlife expert who specializes in bird control. We had a phone consultation, and she provided me with valuable insights on how to get rid of starlings without harming other birds.

Firstly, she advised me to identify the specific areas where starlings congregate or nest. Starlings are social birds that often form large flocks during the winter months. They can be found roosting in trees, nesting in buildings, or feeding on crops. By locating their preferred habitats, we can focus our efforts on those areas without disturbing other bird species.

Secondly, she recommended using physical deterrents such as netting or spikes instead of chemical repellents. These methods prevent starlings from accessing certain areas while allowing other birds to continue using them. It’s crucial to choose appropriate materials and installation techniques that don’t harm any birds or damage the environment.

Thirdly, she emphasized the importance of continuous monitoring and adjusting our methods if needed. Bird behavior patterns may change throughout seasons or due to external factors such as weather conditions or food availability. Therefore, it’s essential to keep track of the effectiveness of our deterrents and make changes accordingly.

By following these guidelines provided by the wildlife expert, we can successfully manage starling populations without impacting other bird species negatively. However, implementing these measures requires careful planning and attention to detail. In the next section, let’s discuss how we can monitor and adjust our methods for optimal results over time.

Monitoring And Adjusting Your Methods

After consulting with a wildlife expert, you may have tried various methods to get rid of starlings. However, it is important to monitor their effectiveness and adjust your approach as necessary. The goal is to deter starlings without harming other birds in the area.

One way to monitor the success of your efforts is by keeping track of bird populations in your yard or property. Set up a simple table like the one below and record the number of different species you see each day. This will help you determine if certain tactics are working better than others.

Date Starlings Sparrows Robins
6/1 10 5 2
6/2 5 8 3
6/3 2 7 4

Another method for monitoring is setting up cameras or motion detectors around areas where starlings gather. This will allow you to observe their behavior and adjust accordingly. For example, if they are still accessing bird feeders despite deterrents, try moving them further away from trees or bushes where starlings tend to roost.

Remember that getting rid of starlings completely may not be possible, but reducing their numbers can make a big difference for other native bird species. By monitoring and adjusting your methods, you can create a more welcoming environment for all types of birds in your backyard.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are There Any Legal Restrictions Or Permits Required For Removing Starlings From My Property?

Well, well, well, if you’re looking to kick the starlings off your property without getting into legal trouble, then you might want to pay attention. The short answer is – yes, there are restrictions in place for removing these feathered fiends from your land. According to federal law, all native birds (including undesirable ones like our noisy little friends) are protected and can’t be harmed or removed unless permitted by licensed authorities. So before you start slinging rocks or setting up bird traps, make sure you have the proper permits in hand. Otherwise, those cute little chirpers might end up costing more than just a headache!

Will Using Physical Deterrents Harm Or Injure The Starlings?

So, let’s talk about using physical deterrents for starlings. You might be wondering if these methods will harm or injure the birds. Well, I’ve done some research and it seems that most of these options are designed to just make the area uncomfortable for them – not hurt them in any way. For example, you could try using reflective tape or hanging up strips of metallic materials around your property to deter them from nesting there. Other ideas include placing netting over potential roosting areas or using fake predators like owls or snakes to scare them away. Just remember that while these methods may work for starlings, they might affect other bird species as well, so be sure to weigh all your options before deciding on a course of action.

How Long Does It Usually Take For Starlings To Be Deterred From My Property?

So, you’re probably wondering how long it takes for those pesky starlings to go away. Well, let me tell you from personal experience that it can vary. It depends on the type of deterrents you use and how persistent the starlings are in trying to come back. In my case, it took about a week or two before I noticed a significant decrease in their presence. However, I continued using my methods for a few more weeks just to be sure they wouldn’t return. So, while there’s no set timeline, don’t give up hope – with patience and persistence, those starlings will eventually get the message and move along!

What Are The Most Effective Natural Repellents For Starlings?

I used to think that natural repellents were just a myth, but then I discovered the power of peppermint oil. It’s like putting up a "no vacancy" sign for starlings. They hate the scent and steer clear of anything sprayed with it. Plus, it won’t harm any other birds or animals in your yard. Just mix some water and peppermint oil in a spray bottle and apply it around areas where you’ve seen starling activity. Trust me, this simple solution will make all the difference!

How Can I Prevent Starlings From Roosting And Nesting On My Property In The Future?

I’ve had a bit of trouble with starlings roosting and nesting on my property. After some research, I found that there are a few things you can do to prevent them from coming back in the future. Firstly, make sure any holes or gaps in your house’s structure are sealed up tight – this will stop them from being able to get inside to nest. Secondly, try installing bird spikes or netting around areas where they like to congregate – this makes it uncomfortable for them to stay there. Finally, consider putting up birdhouses specifically designed for other bird species that aren’t attracted to starlings – this gives them an alternative place to nest and keeps the starlings at bay.


In conclusion, getting rid of starlings can be a tricky task. However, with the right tools and knowledge, it is possible to deter them from your property without harming other birds. It’s important to note that removing starlings may require legal permits in certain areas.

One interesting statistic is that according to the USDA Wildlife Services, starlings cause an estimated $800 million in damage annually in North America through crop destruction and building damage. So not only can deterring starlings benefit your personal property, but it can also have a positive impact on agriculture and infrastructure as well. By using natural repellents and taking preventative measures, you can create a bird-friendly environment while keeping pesky starlings at bay.

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