Bird invasion

mickster696(Iowa)May 12, 2010

Anybody have any suggustions as to how I can deal with the many grackles (starlings) that have invaded my yard? Everything in my yard - deck - sidewalk - arbor - fountain - etc. is constantly covered in poop. When I come home from work each day the bottom of my 165 gallon pond is white. I'm afraid that my fish are going to be poisoned. When I clean it up, it's the same scenerio by the next morning. It actually looks like it snowed overnight in parts of my back yard. I bought an owl statue to use as a deterrent, to no avail. I would appreciate any suggestions. I am rapidly becoming a big-time bird hater !!

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goodkarma_(5b)

I have a nesting colony of grackles (not starlings, they have those yellow beaks) that come back every year. They do make a mess but will drive away herons, hawk, cats and other pond predators during the daylight hours.

The good thing is usually they will disperse the first week of June and you won't find them grouped together. Also they will get to know you and many times will not even sound an alarm (those loud clicks) when you garden, and will not fly off. I think that is kind of neat, especially when someone else comes to the garden and they react very differently.

You can net the pond with a fine net to catch the nest waste they toss in the pond. They are trying to get rid of the baby bird smell - hence dropping it underwater. You can use a pool skimmer net to collect the droppings too. They usually are easy to take out of the pond.

I try to remember that it is a big world, and that the yard is really not mine- that we must share. I don't know if you are of the same mind set. But perhpas knowing the mess is temporary may relieve you a bit.

Lisa

    Bookmark   May 12, 2010 at 8:14PM
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mickster696(Iowa)

Thanks for the advice, although it really wasn't the kind of reply that I was hoping for. I do realize that all creatures share the planet and I am tolerant - to a point. I am in need of a practical solution, such as a scarecrow. Anyone have any ideas of where to get one, what type, etc. If I resign myself to netting out the continual barrage of bird droppings in my pond I would get nothing else done. Also, as I said, my entire yard and every structure in it is constantly covered in bird poop. I can't sit in my swing in the evening and enjoy myself for a few minutes without hosing it off and waiting for it to dry. Sometimes animals become a problem and it is difficult to empathize with their plight. I can't imagine the people in New York who deal with the thousands (millions) of rats and the filth and disease that they spread resolving that we must share our world with them and clean up their messes. Any ideas anyone???

    Bookmark   May 13, 2010 at 8:11AM
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goodkarma_(5b)

Mickster I understand your dilemma. But right now the grackles have babies, which is why they are so messy. To disturb them now means keeping them from their nests and reducing their chicks chance of surviving. That is why I gave the advice I did. Hopefully you can gut it out for a few more weeks and work on keeping them from establishing a nesting area near your pond next spring. After the babies leave the nest you really won't see them very much at all.

Lisa

    Bookmark   May 16, 2010 at 8:22AM
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