Starlings - love em or hate em

I admire starlings’ ability to mimic other animals but they can be thuggish.
Every year when they arrive we get up to twenty at a time. Those who find room on the bird table fight visciously over food - especially suet cylinders. They bully other birds too -poor blackbirds are overwhelmed. They seem to have incredible appetites.
I’m wondering how to deter them, or at least the worst bullies. Maybe a water pistol.

Only twenty??? We have our own small murmuration - 100 maybe? We didn’t see a single cherry from our big cherry tree this year - they stripped it before the fruit were even ripe.

Sorry, but I’m not a fan of bird tables - they bring birds too close together in an artificial environment which then leads to disease and to raptors picking off small birds. Try hanging suet cylinders (if you must) in trees, well spaced apart. Or better still provide your birds with ample food from trees, bushes, weeds that have large seed heads, etc. We accept that birds get most of our cherries, plums and apricots, but we have masses of wildlife. And we accept all our bird types, including magpies, hawks, buzzards, kites - even though they take the occasional small bird - it’s about biodiversity and balance and better not to interfere with water pistols and the like. Just give them space and shelter / places to hide.

Blackbirds overwhelmed? You amaze me - they can be pretty thugish too - especially with each other. They are very territorial They are big birds. Try planting a few blueberry bushes (in pots if you don’t have the right soil) then you’ll see how confident and determined blackbirds can be. We moved one of our blueberry bushes in its pot onto our terrace in the hope that we might get some of the fruit - now the blackbirds just brazenly come onto the terrace, even when we are there.


Thank you for reminding me about the blackbirds,Sue. It took a few years for tehm to find ours and then last years they completely stripped them. We are planningon building a fruit cage but haven’t got round to it yet. However, enviromesh works better than netting so I might put some out today.

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I had to look that one up. Good idea. IMO netting fruit trees and bushes is the work of the devil. Much too dangerous for birds - they get caught in it.

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I use enviromesh for all sorts of things - protection against leek moth or cabbage whites for example. The good things about it (as opposed to fleece) are that it lasts for years, is substantial enough (if you buy a wide size) not to need holding down except in very high winds and doesn’t attract cats who want somewhere comfy to lie ( which is what happens on my fleece-protected seed beds.)

Unlike fleece though it isn’t any use for retaining warmth or warming the soil. The easiest place to get it is Amazon but I’m sure there are other outlets because I think I’ve seen it used here by farmers…

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thanks my issue has been fixed.

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