Bothered by pesky starlings? Here are a few solutions. The average starlings are too big to get into feeders with cages around them. The Droll Yankees Model #SDC and the Stckes Squirrel Proof Double Suet Feeder should keep them out but the smaller birds can get in i.e. chickadees, finches, titmice. Woodpeckers have extremely long tongues. The larger woodpeckers can actually stick their heads in the cage & use their tongues to get the suet. If you don't want to buy a new feeder, switching your seed to safflower only will deter the starlings & other blackbirds. Most other birds will eat safflower & it is a favorite seed of the Northern Cardinal.
When do you stop feeding the birds? April is a strange month. It can be cold, it can be warm. To determine when to stop feeding you need to think about what kind of winter we have had. A very snowy winter will have covered natural foods so birds may come to the feeders more often during the winter. When the snow melts, there is natural food available & the birds don’t need the feeders. A mild winter with little snow allows the birds to eat everything in sight. As the natural food becomes scarce, birds may come to the feeders more often until warm weather prevails. 80% – 90% of a bird’s diet is natural food. Your feeder is an easy way to get food in a pinch, similar to a fast food restaurant. Combine the scarcity of food with the migratory birds coming back to the area & it’s easy to see that the birds may be more stressed this year & come to the feeders more often. Also the birds need to eat more when the temperatures dip into the 30’s than when the temperatures are 40-50’s. My suggestion is if you are going to stop feeding, feed through the month of April. That way you have all the bases covered. OR you can just feed the birds all year like I do. A quick word about water…. If you have taken the heaters OUT of your baths because of the mild weather, beware of the temperature drop during the next week. We replace a lot of bird bath tops this time of year due to breakage when the water freezes.
I have been watching birds since a small child when I shared the joy of birdfeeding with my grandparents. In 1988 my passion evolved into Backyard Birds Nature Shop.