A Comprehensive Guide on Attracting Starlings

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A stunning sight at twilight on a warm evening is the murmur of starlings, which form swirling patterns across the sky. However, up close, starlings may be just as interesting to watch, and feeding them in your garden gives you a chance to see how they behave and interact with one another.

However, how do you draw starlings in and have them come around on a regular basis? If you continue reading, you’ll soon have hundreds of these animated, chattering birds eating out of your fingers!

Because they can happily consume any (or all) of the typical items at a backyard bird table or feeding station, starlings are an easy species to get into your garden. Furthermore, a much bigger flock will soon start to assemble where one starling feeds.

A more permanent presence, at least during the breeding season, will be encouraged by the availability of appropriate nesting locations for starlings, such as purpose-built nest boxes. Daily additions of fresh water will also result in a happy and healthy throng of energetic, speckled backyard guests.

According to some studies, luring starlings in and fostering interaction with them may be accomplished via the use of music. Because starlings can imitate well, there is a notion that suggests they like listening to music and singing.

So continue reading to find out some tips you may attempt if you want to attract starlings to your yard and want to know how to do it best.

Because they can happily consume any (or all) of the typical items at a backyard bird table or feeding station, starlings are an easy species to attract to your garden.

Supplying their preferred foods

Enjoying mealworms, suet, fat balls, fruit, and miscellaneous leftovers, starlings are among the easiest birds to please and are among the least finicky that may frequent backyard feeders. As opportunistic feeders, starlings will eat everything from seeds and nuts to fruit, vegetables, and caterpillars to insects, worms, and larvae in the wild.

Mealworms and suet are very popular throughout the spring and summer months for raising young because they provide the energy and protein required to satisfy the hunger of the nestlings.

How to Feed Starlings in Your Yard

Unlike other common garden guests, starlings are not early risers and often arrive considerably later in the morning before retiring to their roosts very early in the evening. When the food supply runs low, they are also pretty eager to move on, moving on to the next feeding place instead of staying around and maybe finding more.

The favoured feeding locations for starlings are platform feeders, bird tables, and the ground; however, this does not exclude them from attempting to get the food offered by hanging feeders.

It’s uncommon to draw in just one or two starlings, especially in the winter and spring when a raucous group of them may follow soon after the first one comes to eat. Additionally, cleaning up starling droppings from flocks is a huge task. It is advised to often clean surfaces and feeders with soapy water in order to keep the feeding space hygienic and stop the spread of illness.

A starling is shown in the picture obtaining mealworms from a garden feeding station.

Making a Habitat That Is Starling-Friendly

Being cavity nesters, starlings choose areas to make their nests, such as tree hollows, man-made nest boxes, chimneys and vents under building eaves. They have been known to violently chase other nesting birds out of their nesting holes, especially Purple Martins and Bluebirds in the United States.

While having a family of noisy starlings hatch in your chimney may not be ideal for many homeowners, it’s important to keep in mind that the starlings’ nesting season is not very long. In about three weeks, the activity at the nest site will be coming to an end as the young have flown and found other places to roost.

Making sure there are enough nest boxes on hand might discourage starlings from building their nests under eaves or within chimneys.

At the nest box, a starling is seen feeding its babies. Since they create their nests in cavities, starlings prefer to take up residence in areas under building eaves, chimneys, vents, tree hollows and manufactured nest boxes.

Making Noises to Draw Starlings

Mozart firmly believed that music might be used to communicate with starlings. He claimed that his pet starling could properly sing a portion of his G major piano concerto. There is other anecdotal evidence on starlings’ ability to imitate, such as their ability to pick up phrases and melodies from human speech and cell ringtones.

Scientists have experimented with playing starling song and observing the responses of male and female starlings to find out more about whether the idea that song aids in attracting females during the mating season has any scientific merit. It was observed that females were drawn to the replay and looked towards the source, and surprisingly, men were also drawn to the playback devices.

It’s usually best to leave this sort of research to professionals who can carefully observe without causing needless anguish, since there is some continuing controversy about the ethical difficulties surrounding the use of playback devices to study and attract birds. This is because the gadgets may induce disorientation and disturbed behaviour.

A picture shows a starling perched on a fence made of wood. Mozart firmly believed that starlings might be reached by music.

Recognising Patterns and Behaviour in Starlings

You must have noticed how rapidly starlings eat if you’ve already started to welcome them into your garden. It might appear as if as soon as you replenish a feeder, an iridescent black quarrelling frenzy breaks out, and the feeder has to be refilled.

Some people don’t think highly of them and consider their actions to be “greedy.” But as a species, starlings have adapted to graze swiftly with their group before dispersing to a new location. Starlings are simply starlings, that’s all.

Starlings are among the first birds to depart for their nightly roosts, arriving later in the day to eat. Additionally, unlike pigeons, they won’t wait around in a backyard for their next meal.

They are infamous for being loud, arguing among themselves as they fight for food, yet they usually do not act aggressively towards other animals, and their fights are brief.

Exercise caution and provide careful thought

After luring in just one starling, it’s likely that you’ll soon have a large flock of chattering guests swarming your feeders and making loud splashes in your bird bath. Your feeders will soon begin to quickly empty, especially the ones that hold fat balls and suet, which are very well-liked.

Using feeders with thinner mesh or replenishing your feeding stations early in the morning are two ways to reduce the frequency of starling arrivals and allow other, smaller birds to have an opportunity to eat as well.

Making ensuring your garden is free of risks, such as potentially harmful nets, pesticides, or pet cats that could get too interested in any bird guests, is the first step towards providing a safe and natural habitat for starlings.

You can’t have missed seeing how swiftly starlings eat if you’ve already started to welcome them into your garden.

Final Thoughts

Having food, water, and natural foraging areas nearby are important factors in ensuring that starlings visit your garden and bring their whole rogue brood back with them.

Mealworms, suet pellets, and fat balls are some of the foods that will be gobbled up if left out. Remain calm if they devour everything in a flash; it’s in their instinct to consume food rapidly and methodically, creating a cacophony of sounds while doing so.

Though it may not be the most certain strategy, food seems to attract starlings more than any other sound. Music may also draw them into your garden. Making sure your garden is safe from risks or hazards, such as cats that may not be very tolerant of starling visits, is another important factor to take into account.

The lack of natural food and adequate nesting places is causing a reduction in starling numbers worldwide, despite their being one of the most often documented garden birds.

Although many people may not find them to be naturally fond of them due to their noisy, messy, and seemingly avaricious behaviour, you might grow to love them for their strong personalities and iridescent plumage, which shimmers in a variety of colours when exposed to natural sunlight.


Can you make Starlings your friend?

Urban starlings are comparatively tolerant of people since they are used to their company. Regular feedings in the same location can help them grow less fearful and learn to link you with food. It’s not advisable to try to tame starlings or let them become completely reliant on you for food, however, since this might jeopardise their chances of surviving in the wild.

I'm Nauman Afridi, the bird enthusiast behind Birdsology.com. My lifelong passion for birds has led me to create a space where fellow bird lovers can find valuable insights and tips on caring for our feathered friends.Professionally, I'm a brand strategist and digital marketing consultant, bringing a unique perspective to the world of bird care. Whether you're a novice or an experienced bird owner, Birdsology.com is designed to be a welcoming community for all.Feel free to explore, and reach out if you have any questions or just want to chat about birds.
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