May 30, 2022 at 8:59 am #25141
In the past few days, for the first time I’ve seen other birds (HOSP and starlings) poking around inside the BB feeder and grabbing mealworms. It’s never been a problem before.
I have a house-type hanging feeder, with a slanted roof, clear windows on the sides, and two entrance holes with a platform under each hole. I hate to see the BB’s have to compete with other aggressive birds. I’m inclined to stop putting mealworms in there at all (they are not cheap to buy), but I love providing for the BBs.
Does anyone else have this problem?May 30, 2022 at 10:16 am #25143
I’ve never had HOSP or starlings eat the mealworms. I have bluebirds, Carolina wrens and song sparrows. I saw a yellow throated warbler in the feeder once, but they are rare here and I never saw it again. I think if I saw a HOSP at the feeder I would take it down.
Luckily, I haven’t seen a HOSP or starling at all this year. I only feed high quality seed from Wild Birds Unlimited–safflower and sunflower. Last year I saw a HOSP at my safflower feeder. That’s when I started having problems with them. I took my seed up this spring when breeding season started but do feed mealworms.
East TennesseeMay 30, 2022 at 11:57 am #25851
Thanks, Carol. Yes, it was soooooo discouraging to see a HOSP inside there. The starlings perch on the outside landing, and then lean inside the hole to grab the mealworms. We had such joy from watching the BBs this spring, but now I’m almost ready to give up.May 30, 2022 at 12:27 pm #25860
I’m sorry. I know it’s discouraging.
East TennesseeMay 30, 2022 at 1:27 pm #25861
If you use a cage feeder, meaning it has openings of only 2″ square so larger birds cannot get inside.. It will help with the starlings but not the HOSP unfortunately. I put out only enough mealworms for my bluebirds (mama, papa, 3 juveniles and 5 one week old babies. A pictures of a cage feeder is on this page, bright blue. These are very nice but kind of expensive – my dear hubby made our two cage feeders, as he was a welder by trade and could do this. You know, if you train your birds to come to your feeder (mine come to my whistle in a matter of minutes) around the same time every day, they will have all the worms for that feeding eat up in about 6-7 minutes so then there is nothing left for the unwanted birds. Don’t give up, hang in there and you will have ups and downs on the feeding process. Remember, the worms are just a “treat” for the birds (although they are very helpful to new parents – just be sure not to overfeed the worms as they need natural bait as their staple meal.) Good luck.May 30, 2022 at 1:55 pm #25865
I can attest to the fact that the mealworm feeder shown on this page is great. I bought mine at least five years ago, probably more. It still looks brand new. It definitely keeps the larger birds out.
East TennesseeMay 30, 2022 at 8:12 pm #25870tamseaModerator
I love the grid style feeder too! Best one out there. HOSP will find it but this season they haven’t noticed it. It does keep out this piggy robins.
TammyMay 31, 2022 at 11:03 am #25874David in Stafford,VAParticipant
I just responded to Brad on the use of this feeder. It does a great job of keeping the larger birds away. You cannot do that with an open or domed feeder. I have even found that my blues actually defend the feeder just like the nestbox.
Stafford, VAMay 31, 2022 at 12:21 pm #25881
Amen to what David from Stafford says!June 4, 2022 at 3:34 pm #25917
Thanks for the feedback! The HOSP dart in and out of the feeder, and a starling will perch on it, sometimes. Interestingly, the HOSP don’t seem to eat very much, if at all. So apparently they don’t like mealworms. To be safe, however, I’ve greatly reduced the amount of mealworms I put inside. I didn’t realize they are just a “treat” and not essential to the BB diet. So that’s good to know. :-) I think the HOSP and starlings are just acting out a territorial instinct, but it sure is annoying. I’ve been pondering places to live where there are no HOSP. (Mars, maybe?)June 4, 2022 at 8:47 pm #25918
Mars would probably be the only place!!!
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