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alphamorph

Thwarted Starling raid

5 posts in this topic

Frustrated by the dominance that Starlings were playing at my feeding station, I wired a simple plastic glass over the suet ball.  They can still reach some of it but not without exhausting a lot of effort.   Of course, this doesn't hinder the woodpeckers, chickadees and nuthatches at all.  Problem seems to have been solved.

Starling at feeder.jpg

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Well, I may have spoken too soon.  Clever as ever, some starlings have busied themselves mastering techniques to thwart my thwart.  At first, they had limited success, unable to gain a firm foothold next to the slippery surface of the glass but it didn't take long before a few were able to alter their approach and make a positive plant.  The next hurdle was to hang from the edge with one foot and still have enough leverage to plunge their beak into the suet before losing their grip and tumbling away. 

Now it seems, they've taken the challenge to the next level.  I think their numbers have actually increased, each vying to become the master the new food toy I have provided for them.  Almost half of the starlings are now enjoying some level of success.  Their presence is definitely affecting visits by other birds.  Nuthatches for example, have literally disappeared and the Hairys and Downeys have reduced their visits.   C'est la vie!

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Remove the suet feeder for a few days and the Starlings will take their search for food to another area...hopefully far away from your house. :)

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I agree, and in the meantime supply nyjer seed in a Finch sock. Good luck!

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My thanks for reading and responding.  I'm sure there were more than a few of you who were skeptical of my chances for success but I still appreciate your dropping by.

After removing both Saturn feeders, I of course, noticed an immediate fall off in starling visitations.  A poor downey searched everywhere for it and finally gave up, leaving in disgust with a high speed fly-by just inches from my head.  I'll stash the feeders for a few days but I don't think it will be effective because a neighbor just 3 doors away deliberately feeds them some sort of kibble all year round.  The most starlings I've counted over his backyard is about 20 or so but there could be more than one flock in attendance.... I don't know.  Bottom line, I doubt very much that the return of my Saturn feeders after a few days absence will go 'unnoticed' for more than minutes by my unwelcome guests.  Plus, the starlings are regular visitors to my yard for a drink and a bath. 

As to the nyjer seed, that would be well and fine for  the finches, siskins and chickadees but wouldn't be of any value to the woodpeckers.  And really, I have no problem with the seed eating birds who seem to getting along quite well on the ground and at my window feeders (although suet is a major treat for the chickadees).

Unless someone can make other recommendations, I think I'll need to sacrifice my suet-only birds in order to keep peace in the backyard.   Darn, things had been going so well there for awhile.

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