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Starling-proof resistent suet feeder

So from what I’ve researched and seen, Starlings have the inability to hang upside down and feed.  So a starling-proof feeder takes advantage of their inability.

I've now learned that Starlings can hang upside down or at least learn to. It's very unfortunate as I've gone almost 10 years without having Starlings eat the suet I put out. Hanging upside down isn't their favorite position, but seems they'll learn how to do so. I've battled with them by reposition my feeder, but it doesn't seem to help any. They can basically land on top of the feeder, drop down under the feeder, and flutter enough to grab a bite or even flutter enough to flip upside down and grab on to the bottom of the feeder. Right now there are very few starlings in my neighborhood, but I'm worried that the population will increase and with it more starlings coming to my suet feeder. I still put out suet as there are more native birds frequenting the feeder, and I don't often see the starlings eating the suet. I've renamed the suet feeder as starling-resistent now. Hopefully others will have better luck and starling who are less persistent about eating your suet.

You can build the feeder any size you wish, though smaller probably is best as it will be more stable, and build it with the size of your suet cakes in mind.

I’ve built mine out of leftover Trek decking that we had – it’s easier to clean than wood.  It is a very simple design, essentially a shallow box with small size wire mesh stapled on the bottom (the part that points down).  The “top” of the box is actually a lid, which hinges on two screws.  A nail is used to be easily removed when opening the lid to add more suet.  Eye hooks are screwed into each corner of the lid and string is used to hang the feeder.

An example of birds feeding from the suet feeder - a downy fledgling waits on top of the feeder as mom collects suet.

It is important to keep the feeder level.  If the feeder is slightly slanted, the Starlings can take advantage of that and hold on enough to get the suet.

Woodpeckers, Chickadees, and Nuthatches frequent my feeders daily. And occasionally, Warblers, Juncos, Sparrow and Steller’s Jays can flutter enough to grab suet out of these feeders.

Keep up with those hungry mouths; don't let the suet in the feeder run out. Try my recipe here.

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page updated: 5/15/10