Forum home The potting shed

Greedy starlings

I like to put out mealworms as a treat for the birds but the greedy starlings eat them all in such a frenzy that the other birds just do not get a look in.  I know the starlings have got to eat too and I do love to see them sqabbling over them but there are just not any left for the other birds.

Does anyone have any ideas how to starling proof them.  I can give them some as well but something just for the other birds as well.

Any ideas ???


  • I also forgot to put, they are so expensive that they are a rare treat so would like them to be fairly distributed.

  • Gary HobsonGary Hobson Posts: 1,892

    I agree that starlings can be a serious nuisance. Bird food isn't cheap, and starlings can clear bird food in minutes.

    Fortunately, I haven't actually found them to be a pest, so far this year.

    When starlings are a pest, then I try to keep scaring them off. If scared off, they then tend to congragate in nearby trees, watching, and waiting for you to go inside. As soon as you disappear, they will all swoop down again. But if you maintain vigilance, and keep scaring them off, they will eventually get the message, and go elsewhere.

  • Use a sort of cage over your feeding area that only lets in smaller species. If you visit the website of some of the suppliers of bird food including the RSPB you should find something suitable.

  • KezzaKezza Posts: 90

    Hi Lavender Lady


    Where do you get your mealworms ?  I assume you mean dried ones.  I get mine from the pound shop, you get 100g for a quid - total bargain.  Do you have a pound shop near you ?  A lot of the mealworms I put out get savaged by the starlings too, sometimes I crush them up, the mealworms, not the starlings, so hopefully the smaller birds would get a bit more of a look in, instead of the starlings with their long pointy beaks, as I figure they'd have more trouble picking up all the crumbly bits.

    Just an idea.  Good luck !


  • That is cheap Kezza, I paid 3.99 for 100g of mealworms.  Unfortunately i don't have a pound shop near me but I am about 30 miles from Norwich and I am sure there is one there so next time I am in Norwich I can stock up.  Thanks for that.

    Why is all bird food so expensive, they want people to feed the birds and encourage them into our gardens but the food costs so much money doesn't it.  I have made my own bird cake and that does save a little but you still need to buy the seed, etc to put in it.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,288

    Hi Lavender Lady - there's a Pound Shop on the trading estate between the football ground and the station - where Boots and Next and Matalan and Morrisons and Hobbycraft are.

     I don't know whether they have cheap mealworms, if you find some let me know image

    If you're ever in the Saxmundham area, this place sells big bags of bird feed which work out cheaper - it'd probably be even cheaper if you picked it up yourself

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • That's interesting Kazza I shall have to have a look in my local Poundshop as I like to put mealworms out for my birds as well.


  • Thank you Dovefromabove.  I do visit that trading estate sometimes but have never noticed the pound shop, will have a look for it next time I go there - will defo be after Xmas.  Also well done on your win of the Alan Titchmarsh book.  Pleased to hear of somebody winning.  

  • 99p store also sells mealworms in small pots.

    I put out a cage of a suet block which they fight over they like that either a round suet or a square block which can be brought in a few places and I think pound land and 99p sell.

    Have a try at those see if they will eat that instead of the mealworms.

    Hampshire Gardener
  • KezzaKezza Posts: 90

    Hi all

    Yes the starlings will scoff the suet cakes as well, but I also get these for a quid at the pound shop.  Don't know if any of you have 'Home Bargains' near you (unless it's a scottish thing), but I got 3 fat cakes there last night for £1.79, well, actually I got 4 packs, as I tend to stock buy stuffimage  the pound shop also sells packs of suet pellets (as does home bargains), which are much much cheaper than other retail outlets.  Good luck to all finding the cheaper suppliers, as I agree bird food is so expensive, but it's one of the few hobbies I have, and wouldn't stop feeding the birdies for anything, especially when I watch the woodpeckers and robins, listen to the goldfinches squabbling over niger seed, and have the pleasure of long tail tits passing through on their travelsimage

Sign In or Register to comment.