Meet the noisiest birds around; Starlings! From their name, they form the shape of a star when they fly. They are attractive small birds and have an iridescent black-green color with short tails and long, slender bright yellow beaks.
They are known for murmuration, which refers to the swarming behavior of starlings when they fly in intricately coordinated patterns in the sky. They may do this for safety, warmth, or exchanging information on good feeding areas. Nonetheless, this is a dazzling display that you would want to see.
Where can They be Found?
Starlings can be found in North America and are actually the most numerous songbirds around. It is actually very easy to spot a starling as they are commonly seen in cities and towns. Just go to fields, lawns, city parks, and you will be seeing them working their way across the grass.
In the countryside, they can be seen flying in flocks over fields or roads or perched at the tops of trees.
Best Ways to Attract Starlings
If you are a backyard birdwatcher who would love to see starlings in your backyard, here are a few tips to attract them:
Eliminate possible threats
If you want starlings to visit your backyard, it’s best to remove all the possible threats around. If you have any bird repellers like fake owls or scarecrows, they will obviously be afraid to come near your home. Although these may be a good way to keep other birds at bay, you may want to take them down if you want to have a starling come to visit.
If you also have pets like cats, it’s best to keep them indoors as starlings wouldn’t want to be chased around by them.
Choose the Right Food
Once you have removed the possible threats that would keep them from coming near your yard, it’s now time to give starlings a reason to keep coming. That, of course, is food!
The only reason why starlings, or any other birds for that matter, would want to visit your backyard is that there are food sources available. If you know what certain foods starlings are interested in, you will be able to get them straight to your backyard. It’s a good thing they are so easy to cater for! Here are just some of their favorite foods:
Suet is essential for birds and suet cake is actually known to be a favorite of starlings. This provides them with instant energy and is also soft enough for starlings to eat.
Suet pellets are a great quick meal for starlings since they are very easy to swallow and digest. A starling’s beak is not designed to crack hard seed shells, so they prefer small bits of food.
Dried mealworms are a very nutritional food that is ideal for attracting starlings and other birds like blue tits and blackbirds. If you want them extra juicy for your birds you can soak them in water overnight.
Cracked corn is a good way to attract starlings and other bird species like doves, cardinals, chickadees, and house finches. It’s also a cheap and accessible option. All you need to do is fill a tubular feeder with this and hang it from the limb of a tree.
Just like the cracked corn, peanut butter is cheap and accessible, and it attracts starlings to your backyard. It’s easier for them to collect in small bills, and it doesn’t need to be cracked or broken for them to eat it.
Feeding a Baby Starling
If you also spot a baby starling and would like to feed them, you should know what they need. Baby starlings need food that is high in protein. They usually feed on insects, but you can also use dog or cat food as long as you mix it with water.
Baby starlings also need plenty of water to avoid dehydration. Make sure to just put small drops of water on the outside of its beak or give it watermelon since it is rich in fluids.
Use a Proper Bird Feeder
Now that you know what foods starlings are fond of, you need to make sure that the food you provide is also accessible to them. You need to make a proper bird feeder for them, so they’ll notice you and keep coming back.
Make sure to not build a bird feeder that’s too small for them since they might just bully away small birds and it might lead to fighting for the food.
Build a larger feeder that will have plenty of room for the starlings. Choose tubular bird feeders for starlings since these can allow them to eat from different points around the cylindrical shape.
Once you have your bird feeder, hang it from a tree branch or above your porch and make sure that it’s tucked away from predators. Starlings like to roost during the winter or when raising their young so it’s good to hang a birdhouse where it’s safe from the wind and predators.
Starlings have marvelous mimicry and are even said to have inspired Mozart in the past. They are considered to be the noisiest birds around as they sing with life and joy. They love to copy many different sounds from other animal sounds to mobile ringtones.
If you happen to see a starling in your backyard, one way to keep them there is to interact with it musically or socially. Just use some treats along with it!
Starlings are dazzling creatures that you would want to see in your backyard. If you are planning to attract them, make sure to remove any possible threats around. When you’ve done this, you can use musical bonds to attract them, or of course, food.
The best way to attract starlings is food! Starlings are easy to cater to since they are omnivores and are not very picky birds. They like suet, mealworms, cracked corn, and peanut butter. Just make sure to have a proper bird feeder for them, and you’re sure to get them in your backyard in no time!