you will find information about a daily diet which
will supply adult starlings with the high levels
of animal protein they need. Additionally there
are lists of nutritional treat foods, foods to
avoid, recipes, and links to insect suppliers
below. For frequently asked questions about starling
nutrition, click on this link: Nutrition,
and for information on their natural diet click
here: Wild Starling
you have a baby starling, please click on the
following link for a handfeeding formula recipe
and information on baby bird care: Baby
Daily Diet for Captive Adult Starlings
are many recipes for feeding adult starlings,
but most are based on a dog food mixture. As mentioned
on my baby starling care page, starlings are omnivores
yet are close to being insectivores, and they
require high amounts of animal protein in their
diets. If the diet is fundamentally unsound (imbalanced),
no amount of supplementation with vitamins or
minerals will help. Parrot handfeeding formula
and softbill pellets are not appropriate
foods for starlings. The softbill pellets are
made for fruit eaters such as Hill Mynahs. Unlike
mynahs, starlings are highly insectivorous. For
more information about why a dog food mixture
is commonly fed to wild songbirds by wildlife
rehabbers, read my webpage entitled, What?
Feed Dog Food To A Starling?
Dog Food Mixture
(made with dry dog or cat food)
cups soaked dry dog/cat food *
cup of poultry mash (or softbill pellets)
in a separate bowl about a tablespoon
each, of applesauce and hard boiled egg.
This should be removed after an hour or
so to prevent spoiling
*If your bird will eat the dog/cat food
mix dry and ground up (not soaked),
you don't need to feed it wet.
For the dry dog food recipe, Innova
Puppy Dry Food (26% protein and 12% fat) and
One Senior Protection Formula dry dog food
(28% protein and 12% fat) seem to be close to
a starling's nutritional needs. Cat food such
Soup for the Cat Lover's Soul brand - Adult Cat
Light Formula dry food (32% protein and 9%
fat) will work for feeding young birds. Always
read the label of the product to make sure not
only the protein/fat ratio is right but that the
first ingredient listed is chicken or meat.
"mash" or "crumbles" needs
to be made specifically for adult chickens or
turkeys. Do not use the medicated mash made for
chicks! If there are no feed stores or other stores
in your area which carry poultry mash, then Kaytee
or Pretty Bird softbill pellets can be substituted
as long as they make up no more than 1/4 of the
diet. Poultry mash is preferred, however.
dog food mixtures, if you use soaked food, may
be divided into portions and frozen for later
use. Take portions from freezer as needed, and
defrost in microwave. Let cool throughout so that
no hot spots remain in food when serving.
Treat Foods for Adult Starlings
are some foods which can be added on top of the
basic dog food mixture or can be served in a small
dish as a treat. Keep in mind that these foods
are very good additions and will supply necessary
vitamins, but they are not meant to substitute
for the daily dog food diet which supplies
the much needed animal protein required by starlings.
Treat foods should be fed in small portions only.
- considered a "super fruit" because
of the extremely high nutritional content.
potatoes, carrots, beets and turnips,
leaves (high in Vitamin A) Buy organic,
or be sure that the ones you pick are free
from pesticides or exposure to auto exhaust
greens, celery leaves, turnip greens
or frozen vegetables such as green beans,
corn, tomatoes, peas. (If you use canned,
rinse first to remove extra salt.)
meats such as tuna or chicken.
bread & other enriched breads such as
multi grain breads (See the recipe
especially dark colored ones such as blueberries.
especially purple ones.
Cheese (low fat and sodium cheese in small
and other fruits
and cherry juice
(which have been kept in a poultry mash substrate)
(see list of insect
Foods to Avoid
-- believed to be toxic.
meat and raw eggs
such as potato chips and crackers.
(too high in salt and fat)
& alcoholic beverages
are toxic to birds.
Click here: Unsafe
recipe for a nutritional homemade supplemental
food. Remember, this food is not meant to take
the place of the daily dog food diet for starlings!
For additional recipes, please visit Chef Ringo's
cooking website. Ringo knew exactly what starlings
like. Click here to see his site: Cooking
whole pre-cooked chicken
hard-boiled eggs (shell and all)
cans of 5.5 oz. Nutro Max puppy formula)
chicken, lamb, and rice formula)
1/2 cups poultry mash
cup "Pretty Bird" brand hand-raising
Tbsp. powdered "Bio Greens" (from
the Vitamin Shoppe)
First, I take the meat off the chicken. I rinse
the meat in the sink to get off any salt or seasoning
that might remain on it from the seasonings they
put on the skin at the grocery store. I then blend
the chicken meat only (no skin or bones) in a food
processor until it is the mushy consistency of canned
then add two cans of 5.5 oz. dog food. (I used
two different kinds of puppy formula canned dog
food this time -- Nutro Max and Authority) I then
add two whole hard-boiled eggs. Next, I add "Bio
Greens" and the hand-raising formula to the
mix and blend in the food processor until well
mixed. (I'm thinking you could add vitamins here
or sprinkle them on top with each feeding.) Next
I add the above mixture to 3 1/2 cups of poultry
mash in a large bowl. By hand, I knead the blended
mixture with the poultry mash to make 14 hamburger
sized patties. The final step is putting the patties
into freezer-safe bags. One thawed pattie (kept
in the fridge) will feed a starling for about
on titles below to visit suppliers' websites:
West - A
bag of Bugs $8.95.
Tree Exotics - Quiko Goldy-A non-seed
based diet for insectivorous birds $12.35
- Live and freeze dried insects, various prices.
Workshop - Dried caterpillars for $15.99
Plus - Bugs-n-Berries. Contains insect larvae
gut-loaded with spirulina and canthaxanthin. 1
pound for $9.00
Farms - Flukers Crickets (live and freeze
dried); $7.99 for 1.4 ounce jar.
Farms - Silkworms; no price available.
Insectivore Diet - needs to be ordered
from your local Purina dealer
Protein Foods - Assorted insect foods;
2 Grow - Bevo Insect Diet 8.00 per
Man's Worm Farm - Live mealworms and crickets;
Line Fisheries - Mealworms and Crickets, 50
count cup $5.70.
Cricket Farm - Crickets
York Worms - Assorted insects and supplies
Natures Way - Mealworms
Cricket Farm - Crickets, cricket cages, worms