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Can anyone help, I have started feeding the birds in my garden, I have put in a bird table, with seed hangers and fat balls and a few other bits, I would like to feed all the birds in my garden, accept, the Starlings just seem to empty everything and the smaller birds don't get a look in, any suggestions would be helpful!!

Well that's it then the Starlings seem to come out on top, there doe'snt seem to be anything to deterr them!! more's the pity!!

Alina W

You can try changing what you feed.

Starlings are very fond of fat balls, so you could stop feeding them and switch to mixed seed instead - that might give the smaller birds a better chance.

Also, you can get fine mesh feeders which starlings can't get their beaks through - have a look in a good garden centre.

Thank's for your reply Alina, I will certainly have a look for those feeders and give them a try, Should rename these Starling's to Vultures!!



But they are endangered, and great fun to watch - fantastic mimics too and beautiful feathers.   I feed suet pellets in another part of the garden - they're cheap and that keeps them away from the smaller birds' more expensive food.

Caz W

Supermarkets "own brand" breakfast oats are small and cheap and everything seems to love them.  They aren't quite as easy for the starlings to eat quickly too

Pennine Petal
I love starlings, they are so cheeky and with numbers dwindling they need all the hep they can get.

It is a pleasure watching starlings in my garden especially when they visit the bird table in the afternoon(between 2&3 pm). they are a sociable group and arrive together. they have alot to say and after feeding enjoy a good bath in the birdbath and the small fountain. Then suddenly they are gone. They take their chances for food with rooks, wood pigions and magpies.

I help feed the smaller birds by hanging feeders by the patio from the pergola which they share with the squirrels. Small birds are quite ternacious and do alright, thank you!! I don't think there is a way of segregating them. If we could, we would apply that to human beings and there would be no wars and no precious freedom.

Thankyou all for your reply's, I did'nt think my question would get such a varied response. 

Pennine Petal
Carol, we are an extremely diverse group with a huge range of opinions ..... And we love posting them!
flowering rose

I think when feeding the birds its not a case who you would like to eat your table,you must invite all and they take their chance,how ever hard that seems to us.You hang things in  all sorts of ways and they'll find away.Enjoy the variety that comes to your table ,much more interesting and the little birds wont suffer,just be aware of Mr.ratty a much more of a foe,so don't leave scraps about.

I do enjoy the variaty of birds that come to my garden, and that all the birds get there fair share of food, all that I was saying is that the starlings make such a mess, they empty the feeders in no time at all, and there is certainly no shortage of them coming to my garden.

I do sympathise with Carol as I understand how starlings can hoover up everything almost before you have come back in the house. I saw a clever trick in a garden recently: the woman has used two green plastic-covered metal hanginging baskets and laced them together with wire to form a ball  - but inside she had placed an ordinary feeder. The small birds hopped in and out the the bigger ones couldn't get through. Not so efficient for refilling unless you think about it carefully. If you have hanging baskets hanging around (!) might be a cheaper alternative.


I have a lot of bother with Magpies hanging on the fat ball feeder which in itself is hilarious to watch but that suggestion of the wire baskets is brilliant,  I don't mind the Starlings as they endangered we need to try and help,  I put shops own muesli mix in with my bird seed which is better than just the "oats" and makes the seed go further. 


That sound's okay, might give it a try with the hanging basket idea! Its the amount of seed I go through, have bought another feeder which the Starlings don't seem to like, as they cant seem to perch on it. 

You say the Starlings are endangered, but I have to admit not in my area! They are unbelievable.

Muvs Dashwood

With all these decorative 'bird cages' around -online and in shops - some are very attractive and if you are careful and choose one with the right size gaps you can put a fat ball or seed feeder inside and keep squirrels and other large feeders out and they look very lovely to boot. And of course the birds don't get the irony.

Steve Worthing

 They can be pretty

But can be a problem. As others have said take away their favourite food for a bit and it will calm down.

But in no certain terms put out unwanted onion bhaji, as i woke up to a flock of 100 of them in the garden!