HOW CAN I DE­TER STAR­LINGS?

Bird Watching (UK) - - Your View -

QI have a ded­i­cated meal­worm feeder which can be ad­justed to keep out large birds. How­ever, even though I set it for Blue Tits etc, I find it can be emp­tied in sec­onds when a flock of Star­lings de­scends – they seem able to reach in with their long beaks. Can you sug­gest a way of feed­ing meal­worms for small birds that will keep out the Star­lings? Ken Hutchin­son

AS­tar­lings can in­tim­i­date smaller birds while greed­ily tak­ing ev­ery­thing they can get their beaks into. They are also very in­tel­li­gent, and quite ca­pa­ble of fig­ur­ing out ways to get round many anti-star­ling mea­sures. The only sug­ges­tion we can make is to get an en­closed meal­worm feeder with a mesh size that al­lows smaller birds to en­ter while phys­i­cally bar­ring Star­lings. If this does work, re­mem­ber to put some meal­worms out for the Star­lings as well; although still rel­a­tively common, Star­ling num­bers have de­clined wor­ry­ingly in re­cent years.

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