How to Get Rid Of Grackles and Starlings? 15 ways that works

There is nothing more upsetting to bird watchers than a group of so-called “bully birds” flocking to our feeders. As quickly as they devour the feeders clean, they may also scare away some of our favorite songbirds with their aggressive demeanor. Because of this, getting rid of grackles & other blackbirds is among the most prevalent worries of Birds readers.

Grackles and starlings infest fields and parks, often in large, destructive flocks. They will displace other species and “take over” an area, generating excessive noise and leaving behind disease-carrying, destructive bird droppings.

This article will provide you with the most effective conventional methods for eliminating grackles and starlings.

1. Change Your Seed Offerings

The preferred foods of grackles and starlings include bread, maize, millet, wheat, and sunflower seeds. Provide them with the food they dislike, like thistle and nyjer seed, which finches prefer, or safflower seeds, which cardinals, chickadees, and nuthatches prefer. Grackles, starlings, and other blackbirds will be forced to seek food elsewhere.

2. Sound Repelling can keep the starlings and grackles away

We continue to pair grackles with starlings since they are both aggressive and form large groups. Additionally, there are sound deterrents as well.

When combined with reflective eye diverters or noises of predators, sound repellents that target these “bullies” should be adequate. However, the ultrasonic facility is the only one included in most repellents.

The audible frequencies of many birds vary greatly. Typically, starlings, blackbirds, and grackles perceive the same frequencies; therefore, if an ultrasonic bird repellent is correctly designed, it will not dissuade smaller birds.

3. Eliminate the Possibilities of Nesting

Starlings will naturally build their nests in your home’s cavities, vents, and other tiny openings to raise their young. However, if you live in a suburban location, you will often see them entering and exiting the vents they create on the sides of almost all residences.

Fortunately, it is simple to prevent starlings from nesting in your home’s vents. You may inspect the property for holes and other potential nesting places and use vent covers to seal each one. The good news is that most of them will have a structure that prevents birds from entering while operating without error.

4. A Bird Feeder Cage Must Be Built to keep starlings and grackles away from the birdfeeder

Making our backyards less appealing to birds like the grackle or starling is the best method to keep them away. To keep the bullies at bay, put bird food in cages. Grackles and starlings will be unable to get their beaks in there no matter how hard they try. As soon as they understand there is nothing to do in this garden, they will take off, never to return.

Chickadees, finches, and cardinals, the tiny songbirds we wish to attract, would be able to smuggle through the holes of the cage and have their fill of food. They will feel less threatened by larger birds like grackles since they would have less to contend with in terms of competition.

5. Remove All Stable Water from the Area.

Birdbaths and ditches filled with water are ideal places for starlings and other blackbirds to rest and play. It is recommended to eliminate all the wet places on your lawn or birdfeeders and cover the puddles with dirt or pebbles in order to prevent starlings and grackles from perching on the trough’s top edge and leaning down to sip water, maintain the water level in your animals’ water troughs at a minimum of 15cm below that. A minimum depth of 7.6cm should be maintained in the water as a safety precaution.

6. Reduce The Length Of The Hooks Of Tube Feeders

Smaller birds, such as goldfinches, chickadees, and titmice, will be able to eat since they can stand on the reduced perches or even grab on with their claws. Occasionally, lengthy perches may be shortened with a hammer by simply tapping them to remove or shorten them. Larger and heavier grackles will have difficulty perching and must abandon their attempts and fly away. Consider a feeder that compels birds to hang upside down if starlings devour all of your suet. For example, chickadees can feed upside down, but blackbirds cannot, and this is an innovative method to keep them away.

7. Use Hot Air Balloons to scare grackles and starlings

It is a great way to frighten away birds while having a pleasant time with kids and grandchildren at the same time! The grackles will escape if the kite is tied to a tree or other object that is not moving.

Consider the durability of the materials before purchasing a model to avoid a break-up or flying away in the wind. In order to deter grackles, starlings, and other pesky blackbirds, certain kites are equipped with retractable poles that can be adjusted to a variety of lengths.

8. Employ Seasonal Strategies

Whether nothing else works to control the starlings and grackles, you may attempt a few seasonal techniques to see if they deter these birds. Summer is the season in which starlings and other blackbirds are seen more often than winter. You may deter starlings and grackles during the warmer months by providing your birds with a caged tube feeder.

9. Remove Vegetation

If you have extensive trees and shrubs in your garden, you should consider cleaning them out. Typically, starlings also prefer to nest in densely wooded and overgrown wastelands. Consider trimming the tree branches so that they are less able to find refuge there. Be careful not to cut the treetops since doing so would stimulate the fast growth of lateral branches, creating an environment where starlings prefer to nest.

10. Extremely Clean Gardens can reduce their love for your yard

Grackles and starlings will resort to the best item left over from the feeders if they have no other alternative. As a result, late spring is the best period to clean your yard regularly. Keep an eye on the ground to check if there are any other seeds or leftovers.

11. Invest In Finch Feeders

 Finch bird feeds have holes considered too tiny for grackles or starlings. This will annoy them and drive their search for lunch elsewhere. Moreover, all that will be left for us are our pals! 

12. Use Food Baits in Funnel Traps

Convenient and efficient, funnel traps are a great tool around the house. It is as simple as placing a wire funnel trap on the ground and stuffing some berries or grains inside. The funnel’s broad end will attract the starlings, who will dine just on bait and get trapped in the trap.

At least 3 meters away from the nearest structure, place the trap. As a result, the starlings will be less likely to flee the traps when they sense danger. However, setting up the traps and releasing the starlings might be time-consuming, especially if you have to move them far from your house.

 13. Use Bird Repellent Liquid

 A methyl-anthranilate, a pungent and bitter stimulant, is common in most liquid bird repellents. This ingredient sends birds fleeing, never to return. Apply the liquid to locations where fruit and other food supplies drop and entice grackles and starlings.

You may apply the approach to grackles who prefer to perch on the edges of buildings or even on their roofs—no need to fret. Grackles may be humanely exterminated in this manner. Although they will be disgusted and discouraged, they will not be harmed by it.

Geese, starlings, crows, ducks, and geese are not the only birds that benefit from the drink.

14. An Electric Track Can Be Installed.

With the help of an electric track, you can deter birds from your yard. In this situation, you’ll need to install a track and the different landing places these nuisance birds could choose to perch themselves. As a result, touching the track will result in a brief electric shock.

15. Determine The Feeding Hour

During most of the day, remove the bird feeders. Starlings and grackles will likely take advantage of the open buffet if it is made known to them. In contrast, the songbirds will adapt if you just put out your feeders for a few hours each day. However, the grackles and other blackbirds will give up and hunt for more permanent resources


How can I prevent the aggressive bird from feeding?

  • Bird feeders that are actuated by weight or caged may be an option.

A collared dove sitting on the perch of a weight-activated bird feeder will cause the feeder to shut, but feeders with cages on the exterior keep bigger birds and even squirrels away from the food. If you want to feed robins and blue tits, a caged feeder is the way to go.

  • Cleanliness and avoiding ground feeding are key considerations.

It’s critical to keep your bird food supplies clean to prevent a disaster. Birds like grackles are known for scavenging for food on the ground, such as crumbs that have fallen to the ground. Starlings are no different from grackles when scavenging for spilled food. Wood pigeons prefer to dine off the crumbs of bird feeders that have fallen to the ground, even though they are regarded as less menace than their urban counterparts.

  • Choose your bird food carefully

Selecting the right bird food for the kind of birds you want to invite to your feeders is a matter of preference. When it comes to our basic bird seed assortment, larger birds prefer to avoid seeds like nyjer seed, whereas smaller birds are less choosy and like foods like nyjer seed.

What is the best technique to keep blackbirds away from your yard?

To successfully manage grackles and starlings, a Multimodal Strategy incorporating visual, aural, and taste deterrents are the best technique. To discourage grackles and other blackbirds, a mixture of deterrents will annoy and confuse them, making the treated area unappealing and urging these black and loud birds to look elsewhere.

What kind of food deter starlings?

  • Shelled Peanuts

Whole peanuts may attract jays, woodpeckers, and a few other birds without encouraging starlings because starlings’ beaks are too weak to shatter hard peanut shells. When a woodpecker pierces a shell and takes a peanut seed, leaving the other exposed, the starlings are likely to swoop in and steal the second kernel. This is the only occasion we have ever seen a starling disturb an entire peanut.

(The following tip only applies to starlings since grackles may split peanut shells.)

How to frighten away a flock of blackbirds?

  • Criss-cross a length of thread across your yard to keep blackbirds away from your food plants. Use bird netting strung across numerous locations to keep birds out of your yard.
  • Set up plastic animal decoys in places where they may be easily seen. Some birds may be scared away if you have a live cat in your yard. However, not all cats are eager to kill every bird they see.
  • To scare away blackbirds, use noisemakers like air horns or whistles. When birds arrive in the area, use noisemakers to scare them away. To keep blackbirds out of the yard, they may be required to use the device repeatedly.

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