Starling Nuisance


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Stuttz
June 5, 2012, 08:27 PM
Hello,

I'm posting here because the rest of the internets doesn't offer a straight answer...my girlfriend has a nice little garden set up, but it's been occupied by starlings every day for a week. They chase away other smaller birds, eat up all the seed, damage small crops, and love to be as loud as possible. It's driving her nuts. I've never been a bird shooter, but is there any law against shooting one or two so that they get the hint and take off? She lives in the middle of nowhere so there's no ordinance on discharging firearms.

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Grumulkin
June 5, 2012, 08:45 PM
To the best of my knowledge, there is no State in the U.S.A. in which Starlings are protected at any time but check your State's hunting regulations to be sure.

I have regular Starling encounters. Once, there was a large flock behind my so I got my 12 gauge Mossberg 500 and at the flock took off, took 3 shots right into the middle of them. I'd always wondered what would happen if one shot into a flock of birds; well it rained Starlings. I got at least 20 of them.

I also snipe at them when they land on trees outside my home using a 22 caliber pellet rifle.

For me, the most irritating thing about them is that if there is even a small hole in soffit or siding on you home, they'll squeeze in and start building a nest. One tried this earlier this year when we were renovating a porch. I went outside with my Benneli Vinci in 12 gauge and saw it coming in pretty high. I took 3 shots at it and it left and landed in a field so I suspect I hit it. Whether or not I hit it, it never came back.

MCgunner
June 5, 2012, 08:46 PM
Not much you can do except use netting over your garden. That's routine in a lot of places in Texas to keep the wildlife out. You can find that netting pretty cheap at Lowes, Home Depot, Southerlands, etc.

I shoot starlings when I'm bored, usually use my .410 Contender to make it fun. Legal in Texas, starlings being an invasive nuisance bird. Can't do that in town, of course, but I have property in the sticks.

Texan Scott
June 5, 2012, 08:55 PM
You're going to have a heck of a time shooting enough starlings to make a difference. kill half a flock, leave a few and a food source... next year will be little better. you may amuse yourself in the process, though....

get bird netting for the garden, or forget the garden and buy bird feeders. then, instead of complaining about birds, you can complain about squirrels, and we can all trade recipies for squirrel pie.

SHR970
June 5, 2012, 09:01 PM
Here in ************ all you need is a hunting license. Currently there is no season and no limit. Fish and Game code Sec. 476 (a) the only prohibition is shooting hours.

Lousy Crows however have a season and a daily limit of 24; you even are required to take possession of the carcass.....unless they are depredating your crops.

Check your state reg.s for what's allowed. If the garden is small enough, a 22 shot shell might do the trick; otherwise move up to a 38.

Stuttz
June 5, 2012, 09:03 PM
Thanks for the info. New question: Half of them sit on and around the bird feeders and the rest patrol the ground. I'd be taking the shot from only about 20 feet. I have a .410 with #6 shot and a 12 gauge with 7 1/2 and 8. I feel like the .410 would be appropriate but I don't wanna wing the poor things. On the other hand, I don't wanna splatter them with the 12 gauge. Like I said, I'm not a bird guy. Suggestions?

ColtPythonElite
June 5, 2012, 09:08 PM
A bb gun and a case of beer....

Texan Scott
June 5, 2012, 09:09 PM
at 20 feet, a .410 with #6 won't just 'wing' a starling... if you hit 'em square, you'll get a cloud of feathers and sawdust (which, if i'm not mistaken, is what they're made of) and some large unidentifiable wet bits.

edited to say: also, your cabbages may be a bit 'gritty' later.

Larry Ashcraft
June 5, 2012, 09:22 PM
A couple of months ago, I came home and discovered several dozen dead starlings laying under my trees. I grabbed an empty dog food bag and a pair of latex gloves and started picking them up. Then I noticed several cold looking birds sitting in my junipers, and some of them were nodding off and falling.

I waited until the next evening to pick them all up, and ended up with almost 100 pounds of dead starlings in my dumpster.

Turns out my neighbor up the road had poisoned them in his feedlot and they were able to fly the quarter mile to my trees for shelter before they died. Yes, poisoning them is legal, with an EPA license. The poison they use is AviTrol, I believe.

Beat-tu
June 5, 2012, 09:26 PM
.177 pellet gun. I have 2 purple martin colonies and they love to kill the martins and demolish the nests and break the eggs. French fries make the best bait (have you ever been to a fast food place around dusk?...Starlings everywhere.

Grumulkin
June 5, 2012, 09:35 PM
Thanks for the info. New question: Half of them sit on and around the bird feeders and the rest patrol the ground. I'd be taking the shot from only about 20 feet. I have a .410 with #6 shot and a 12 gauge with 7 1/2 and 8. I feel like the .410 would be appropriate but I don't wanna wing the poor things. On the other hand, I don't wanna splatter them with the 12 gauge. Like I said, I'm not a bird guy. Suggestions?
Personally, I wouldn't worry about winging a few starlings as they're bullies and a nuisance. I would get a 12 gauge shotgun, load it with #8 shot and shoot them as they were flying away so as not to damage the bird feeder. If you really want to shoot them on a bird feeder, use a pellet rifle as you'll be less likely to damage the feeder.

MCgunner
June 5, 2012, 09:36 PM
Wing 'em, chase 'em down, rip their little heads off.....:D Hey, good enough for doves, it's good enough for starlings....ROFL Only, I ain't eatin' no starling.

Texan Scott
June 5, 2012, 09:38 PM
Mr. Ashcraft: any idea how AviTrol might be tailored to a starling colony, ether by feeder configuration or feed type, so as not to poison any and every bird type within miles? this would be useful, if it could be done without killing desired songbirds (starling ARE a nuisance bird here in TX, just don't want to throw the baby out with the bathwater, as it were).

rcmodel
June 5, 2012, 09:41 PM
You will go bankrupt buying shotgun shells before you shoot enough to make a difference.

I suggest Black Cat firecrackers, an Owl decoy, or a large fake snake you move around the garden.

Other then that, There is no sure way to chase them away until they migrate somewhere else. And you for sure can't kill enough of them to even faze them.

You are not dealing with individual birds.
You are dealing with a swarm of like minded individuals whose whole purpose is to propagate & insure the survival of the flock.
Or die trying.

Shooting them is like stomping ants.
It does absolutely no good at all in the grand scheme of things.

rc

Stuttz
June 5, 2012, 09:45 PM
Wow, I had no idea these things were such a problem. Definitely learned my share for the day. Now she's telling me she thinks crows have found their way over as well...I'm gonna be busy!

Grumulkin
June 5, 2012, 10:18 PM
http://www.orchardphoto.com/e26zo2.jpg

My first Starling... It had made a nest in my house and I shot it while it was leaving fast.

I doubt Ohio has as much of a Starling problem as Texas and some other places but my shooting at them HAS made a huge impact in how many come around.

By the way, I had 2 owl decoys out this year and the Starlings, Blackbirds, etc. didn't seem to care. The only bird that ever paid attention to my owl decoys was a stupid hawk which, one year, made multiple low passes over it apparently thinking it was real.

Crows, by the way, are much tougher than Starlings. I doubt you'd kill one with a pellet rifle unless you hit it in the head or neck. My preferred choice for them has been a 270 Winchester and mostly a 204 Ruger.

Stuttz
June 5, 2012, 10:23 PM
Good point, do you think a .410 could handle crows reliably at around 20-25 feet? Assuming they're not flying, of course

Art Eatman
June 5, 2012, 10:38 PM
20 to 25 feet on a crow? A .410 oughta work plenty good.

SHR970
June 5, 2012, 10:47 PM
I consider my 410 at 25 YARDS to be sporting when killing crows. A load of #6's at 25 feet shreds them plenty good. I consider a 410 to be a 25 yard gun for wing shooting. That is 25 yards for knocking crows out of the sky. Loaded with #8's you can get some good practice in shooting starlings. They may be flock stupid, but they do learn.

MCgunner
June 5, 2012, 11:46 PM
I started my dove hunting life at age 9 shooting a .410 full choke Mossberg labeled "JC Higgins" from Sears. Done a good job if I did mine. I even took a teal at probably 45 yards with it, once. ONE number 6 pellet hit it and it nose dived into the ground. Lucky, I reckon. LOL

Then I got a 20 gauge and never looked back except I do like playing with my .410 Contender, 10" barrel, and 25 feet is NOTHING for it. It'll take starlings at 25 YARDS, but really prefers 20 yards and in. That's a pistol, not a long gun. It has its fun uses. :D Long guns shoot farther.

Magwa45
June 6, 2012, 12:03 AM
I shot a Starling this morning with a .177 air rifle. It is a Weihrauch HW30s with a surprising amount of power. The thing was on a telephone wire at about 20 yds away. Just needed to give it a little elevation to account for the distance. It is fun shooting Starlings and English Sparrows. They are invasive species and open season on them. But you could never shoot enough to make much of a difference.

Stuttz
June 6, 2012, 12:44 AM
Well it's unfortunate that they're so ignorant and don't realize what the kill zone is after seeing their buddies go down...on the other hand, it provides ample practice :D

As far as the .410, I'm glad to know it can be relied on for this job. I've only shot three soda cans with it in over a year and I'm itching to see what it can do. And I'm currently looking for a 20 gauge, probably another Mossberg if the price is right. I do love me some shotguns...

blarby
June 6, 2012, 01:35 AM
I have a friend who regularly penalizes starlings around his house solely based on their existence.

Apparently, they are fairly intelligent, as they don't regularly congregate within firing distance of this .22 air rifle very often.

This, over time, would be an effective garden defense. They aren't stupid, and apparently the survivors do indeed tell the newcomers whats what.

Blue68f100
June 6, 2012, 10:00 AM
If you can get some hawks to nest near by works pretty good. We have them here in my neighborhood in the city. Every once in awhile I will see it pinning down an starling or a crow.

Out in the county I use a 20 ga or 22 on them. In the city you have to be quite so it's air rifles out the bathroom window. They never know what hit them.......

Bubbles
June 6, 2012, 10:27 AM
Netting is cheaper and more effective unless you can provide 24/7 coverage of the garden.

Also, as much as I hate starlings, they eat stinkbugs so now I leave them alone.

Magwa45
June 6, 2012, 10:44 AM
I shoot a Weihrauch HW30S in .177 caliber. This is the same air gun as the Beeman R7. The distance of my telephone wire Starling shot was checked by laser rangefinder to be 26 yards this morning. And that does not include the elevation for the high wire shot. This bird shooting is a lot of fun. I have also pegged a Starling with a pellet on top of the roof, so this is quite a potent shooter. The Weihrauchs are high quality German made guns, all steel and wood, no plastic or rubber parts as with the Chinese or Spanish guns.

Larry Ashcraft
June 6, 2012, 08:40 PM
Mr. Ashcraft: any idea how AviTrol might be tailored to a starling colony, ether by feeder configuration or feed type, so as not to poison any and every bird type within miles? this would be useful, if it could be done without killing desired songbirds (starling ARE a nuisance bird here in TX, just don't want to throw the baby out with the bathwater, as it were).
Not sure, but out of the 100 lbs of dead birds in my yard, exactly ONE wasn't a starling (some type of sparrow). I'm sure you have to have an EPA license to use it, but most farmers and ranchers have the license, which requires a couple of days of class time.

Our local fertilizer dealer, an old high school buddy, told me it looks like corn and costs about $50 a pound. I could find out more, but if you have a local fertilizer/pesticide/herbicide dealer who mainly sells to farmers, they could fill you in.
You will go bankrupt buying shotgun shells before you shoot enough to make a difference.
Yes. When they migrate around November, you'll see massive clouds of them stretching for miles. Sometimes it takes 30 minutes or more for the flock to fly by.

25cschaefer
June 7, 2012, 01:26 AM
I used to shoot them a lot when I was a kid (mostly with a pellet gun), they can get pretty spooky after a while. I used to stick dead ones on big nails and use them as decoys, I know, kind of gross.

At a birthday party once, four other boys and I tipped a feeding trough over, spread dried corn out about 10 yds away and then took the choke tubes out of our shotguns. We waited until the ground was moving with the little suckers and let 'em have on the count of three; 75 dead birds in one volley.

In other words; do you know any 9-15 year olds with itchy trigger fingers? They would probably provide the all day watch over the garden.

Stuttz
June 7, 2012, 01:21 PM
Well, I went out yesterday to see if I could thin them out a little bit...turns out there's a likely mix of starlings, crows, and blackbirds going after her feeders and garden, completely scaring away the finches and cardinals. Honestly, I've never seen birds go through seed like that. Their appetites are unbelievable. Unfortunately, I couldn't do the job she wanted me to do because her cats were outside all day and she didn't want the gunfire to scare them off...women :banghead:

Certaindeaf
June 7, 2012, 01:29 PM
Cats are pretty smart and will slink off given gunfire. Given that scenario and the requirement to still make dead birds, get thee a lawn chair and a good .177 piston rifle.
I'd use the simple dome points.

CSestp
June 7, 2012, 01:45 PM
Yall are talking all out war on these birds. I just used an old red rider bb gun as a kid. Still use one today. Kills them just fine still.

Sent from my Desire HD using Tapatalk 2

Stuttz
June 7, 2012, 02:04 PM
If they did to your car what they do to mine, you'd be talking war too :D

MCgunner
June 7, 2012, 07:35 PM
At a birthday party once, four other boys and I tipped a feeding trough over, spread dried corn out about 10 yds away and then took the choke tubes out of our shotguns.

Did you ever get a choke tube back in the gun?:eek: You shoulda been arrested for cruelty to firearms. :D

25cschaefer
June 8, 2012, 12:23 AM
Did you ever get a choke tube back in the gun? You shoulda been arrested for cruelty to firearms.


We were between 10-12yrs old, I'm sure if the choke-tube police would have caught us we would only have been looking at community service.

JEB
June 8, 2012, 01:05 AM
i prefer my 12ga with 7 1/2 shot. i like to take them out of the air if possible but will not hesitate to shoot them off of a branch or the ground. lots of fun filled afternoons as a kid blastin away at starlings!

JohnKSa
June 8, 2012, 01:22 AM
You can't kill enough to really reduce the population, but you can kill enough of them to convince the others to keep away at least for awhile. They're pretty smart.

Basically you can make them move somewhere else.

Airguns work pretty well for that task.

Gordon
June 8, 2012, 01:29 AM
What I use, and works well to 50 feet and maybe up to 100 feet on a flock.
http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/AMM874-5.html

rswartsell
June 8, 2012, 01:34 AM
Jaysus,

A .270 for Crows? What for deer? A Boys anti tank rifle?

Gunnerboy
June 8, 2012, 08:41 AM
when you kill one tie it to a stick in the garden.... for some odd reason the rest wont return once they see there comrade hanging dead.

splattergun
June 10, 2012, 01:59 AM
Livin in the burbs ya gotta be discreet. Toss some old bread out into a corner of the yard then wait for them to come in. My good old crosman .177 pump air gun still does the job and it gives my german shorthair something to fetch in the off season. I get a few euro collared doves to come in that way, too.

NOw, if only those nasty magpies were open season too....
I hate those b******s. :cuss:

.45Guy
June 10, 2012, 02:27 AM
1. Plant mulberry trees... May distract them a bit, but your car will be painted purple.

2. Invest in a carbide cannon... Neighbors will absolutely LOVE you...

3. As already mentioned, an airgun and a case of beer.

sixgunner455
June 10, 2012, 05:24 AM
Starlings can be cool. (http://vimeo.com/31158841)

Just sayin'. I don't like that they displace native species anyplace they're introduced, or a lot of other things I've seen and heard about them, but that is a pretty cool video of a flock of starlings.

.45Guy
June 10, 2012, 05:34 PM
Carbide cannon:

http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g27/aguy123/carbide.jpg

The-Reaver
June 12, 2012, 04:30 PM
Been a watcher of this channel for a while.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxR0ifBc0-g

Its pretty sweet, kids a pretty good shot.

788Ham
June 13, 2012, 03:06 PM
We have a lot of starlings in our neighborhood, sometimes 30 to 50 in a flock. What filthy birds! So, I get my old Rem. .22 rifle out and snipe them with CB longs, sure does the trick, most times the DRT, pick them up and dump into trash. There have been times my aim was just a touch off, I hit them, then they fly off, but so many cats in the neighborhood, I know they clean them up. The CB longs are less noise than a pellet gun, I keep my eyes sharp on this sniping routine, don't know about total eradication, but it helps keep them thinned anyway.

Certaindeaf
June 13, 2012, 04:55 PM
Been a watcher of this channel for a while.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxR0ifBc0-g

Its pretty sweet, kids a pretty good shot.
He's a pretty serious customer. Thanks for the links!

Sniper66
June 13, 2012, 05:24 PM
My wife feeds the birds and we love all of them except the starlings and grackles. Sometimes I sit on my patio with a good book, a cool beverage, a few snacks, and my pellet rifle or my old Remington 67A and some CB shorts. My record is about 20 birds in an afternoon. The starlings and blackbirds stay away for a couple of days. The other birds seem to figure out that they are not the target. Lots of fun.

gamestalker
June 14, 2012, 03:47 AM
Ya, we get em by the tens of thousands here too. I can't stand those little suckers. Good luck trying to get the problem under control. Poison is about the most effective method, but it's gonna kill every other bird that comes in contact with it. But poison didn't work at controlling the over whelming dove infestation in Brazil. They still ended up taking over in the US, so like I said, good luck.

GS

Clipper
June 14, 2012, 07:40 PM
When we were kids, I had a .22 Benjamin, and my buddy had a .177 crossman. We'd spread a cup or two of his dad's pigeon feed in the back yard and set up a couple lawn chairs 50 feet or so away. We found that if you shoot a starling at the base of the neck when his back is to you, his wings will shoot out and he'll sorta hunch over and be all spread out like he's hiding something. Drives the others wild, and we could shoot 15-20 at a whack sometimes before the rest got suspicious and we'd have to gather 'em up and start a fresh batch of bodies...

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