Starlings & Grackles

Shop the Duncraft Cling-A-Wing at to deter starlings and grackles.

Discouraging Starlings and Grackles

An onslaught of starlings and grackles can be very discouraging to the backyard bird feeding enthusiast. They eat us out of house and home and then, to make matters worse, they bully the smaller songbirds to keep them away from our feeders. This time of year we get lots of questions about starlings at Duncraft. Here are a few products to help you discourage those pesky starlings.

Starlings and grackles love suet, but they don’t like to eat upside down. A feeder like our durable Eco-Strong Upside Down Suet feeder (shown above) or our nifty Touch-Free Suet Feeder will keep the starlings out of the suet. And the woodpeckers and other small clinging birds will enjoy eating in a position that is very natural and comfortable for them.

We have several seed feeders that discourage the starlings, too. Our Cling-A-Wing (pictured above) attracts goldfinches, chickadees, nuthatches, titmice and their friends but the starlings (and pigeons) aren’t able to eat from them comfortably. The starlings will become downright despondent when you fill the Squirrel Buster Plus with black oil sunflower seeds. You can set the weight mechanism so that the smaller birds can dine peacefully as the starlings watch on in despair.

If you’re looking for a super safe birdhouse, check out our Songbird Eco-Friendly House and the cozy Eco Chalet House (shown below). They make a great home for bluebirds, chickadees, titmice, wrens and nuthatches, but the high entry hole, predator guard, and squirrel locks help discourage starlings and other predators from getting in. You can also add on the Screw Mount Birdhouse Guardian to your existing birdhouses to keep precious nestlings safe from starlings and other predators.

When you’re faced with a starling problem, try one or two of these products to see if that can resolve the issue. If the starlings and grackles continue to be a problem, the best thing to do is just remove your feeders for a few weeks. The greedy interlopers will give up and move on, but your friendly neighborhood birds will soon be flocking back to your feeders.

Remember – it’s better to discourage unwanted pests than to be discouraged by them!

Make every day a happy bird day!

Heidi Babb

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  • Bonnie March 7, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    I have a problem with a Eastern Kingbird. It seldom eats the seeds, only perchs on the hooks to scare off the other birds. It even chased off a bluejay. How do I get him to move on????

  • Steve April 17, 2013 at 10:20 am

    Would someone Please tell me what that bird is pictured above on the smaller Cling-a-Wing feeder? Just this spring we’ve got Lots of them feasting on our thistle seed. We live in the extreme NE corner of Illinois. Never saw them here before.

  • debi May 15, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    I want to feed Blue Jays but by doing that I getting problem birds at my feeders chasing the other birds away is there anything i can feed the jays that starlings & grackles wont eat?
    Thank You

  • Clara January 2, 2014 at 10:32 am

    I believe that bird is a gold finch. It is that darker color in winter. The female remains that color in summer but the male becomes a bright yellow.

  • Jane January 25, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    Steve, those bright yellow birds are male gold finches in mating season. In the winter they become a duller yellow, but they’re the same birds.

  • Jeannie January 29, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    To Steve that is a goldfinch they are the only finch to molt twice a year once in fall when they turn to the yellowish green color and again in spring this is when the male turns a beautiful yellow while the female thought molts still stays the yellowish green color

  • Judi February 6, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    Grackles are my biggest program. Bought the upside down suet feeder and they still manage to hang on and eat underneath. I’m weary of buying different type of feeders, etc. Plus they come in herds together. Any other possibilities?

    Thank you!