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in Wildlife gardening
This morning I saw a sparrow hawk move horizontally into my pear tree where the niger seed bird feeder is and grab a goldfinch, he moved incredibly fast. Earlier this year a sparrow hawk killed 10 of the11 gold finches that were feeding here. BUT janfran's brillant idea for keeping starlings away from the bird food could work well for protecting the goldfinches whilst they feed. I just have to figure out the logistics for re-filling.
If you put out fat balls, you might get them to stay.
No starlings here.my mum has loads of them
Got some lard yesterday to make my own fat balls as well as some rasins and apples for the blackbirds.
Starlings have been the bain of my life....Lol!!
My wife and I call them toe rags, because they knock around in gangs and absolutely bully every other bird.
Also they are fearless . I can walk upto them shooing them whilst they are gorging themselves on my delectable food, and only at the last minute do they reluctantly fly to a nearby tree to wait for me to go back indoors...... BUT! I have fettled them, I have altered the doors on my bird house so that only the little birds can get in. also i have put some little adjustable dome hanging feeders on my Santa list. these are designed to allow only little birds in. what I have discovered is that the sparrows etc. fling a lot of seed out onto the floor which the starlings & ring knecked doves are welcome to, so it seems a win win situation for me.
I have wood pigeons that plod around the base on the feeders for the scraps little birds don't want. We have about 4 starlings that visit us and do the same and get very excited about fat balls but seem to leave everything else alone.
Lovely picture of the Starling Steve but can you hang the fats ball out some other way as those nets are very dangerous for the birds as they get their claws stuck in the netting and if not spotted will die from stress trying to get away.
On my lawn the collared doves and wood pigeons do a fairly good job of hoovering up after the goldfinches, who have pretty appalling table habits.
I must agree with the previous post about not putting the fat balls out in the net bags, you can buy a feeder that holds 4 balls and you can then remove nets. I once had to carefully cut the net away from a finches beak that got caught in one.
Just be grateful that you have any Starlings! Their population levels have fallen dramatically over the past few years. Starlings do have a tendancy to be a bit seasonal though within the garden environment and they spend a fair amount of summer and autumn in the fields. They often return to gardens when times are harder in early spring and winter. So the starlings you may want to discourage may well be more desparate for food than anything else.
I've had Starlings every late autumn and winter for the past few years. They love the suet pellets I put out for them and nibble at the fat balls in the feeders too. I love to see them and hear them chattering and whistling. Happily I have a feeder that I use for sunflower hearts in a different part of the garden and it's visited by Chaffinch and Blue Tig. I also have a Robin who arrives while it's still dark around 6am and he/she eats the mealy worms and I think the suet pellets off the table.
i have just started feeding the birds in my garden and i get blue tits and coal tits, and sparrows but iam over run with starlings now i was told they will go once they have fed their young is this true or will they stay? i have cocnuts out a nut feeder and suet fidder and a like a umbrella feeder that i can make smaller so the starlings dont get any and have a pigeon on the bottom that gets all the ones that have been dropped