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Discussion in 'Hunting' started by JAshley73, Mar 29, 2013.

  1. JAshley73

    JAshley73 Well-Known Member

    I hope the Hunting Venue is the best place for this, if not, my apologies.

    I've got a problem with some nuisance starlings nesting over my back patio.
    Over the patio is a corrugated-metal awning, and they nest there this time of year. The roof overhangs the awning by maybe 18"-24" as typical of the rest of the house. I believe they are nesting between this overhang, although I can't see it. And the awning isn't strong enough for me to stand on to get a better look.

    They make an awful noise in the mornings this time of year, and my first instinct is to grab my 12 gauge and blast-away terminator style, but I don't think that'll go over smoothly with my wife, the neighbors, or the local law. ;) I have placed a loaded Red-Ryder by the door for the next time I hear them doing God-knows-what up there. (Seriously, imagine tap-dancing squirrels on a tin-roof...) The good news is that when I have seen them coming out, they have to crawl awkwardly through the small corrugations on the underside before flying out. This leaves them vulnerable to a shot from the mighty Red-Ryder. (Assuming I don't miss from point-blank and hit the sliding glass door :eek:)

    I'm not sure how to best repel them. I thought about a fake Owl, but I'm not sure that will work on the Starlings, and fear it will drive the robins, cardinals, blue-jays and finch(es?) out as well.

    Any advice would be highly appreciated. Thank You.
  2. KZinOKC

    KZinOKC Active Member

    For ricochet reasons I would use a low to medium powered pellet gun. Is the Red Ryder a pellet gun or BB gun? Because a steel BB will ricochet off the steel and a pellet would not.
  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    You can't shoot starlings fast enough to make a dent in the population.

    Owl & snake decoys only work for a very short time as they figure out what they are.

    You need to get up there and fill all the openings with hail screen or flashing cut to fit the corrugations, expanding foam, or whatever.

    As long as the openings are there, you will have some sort of birds nesting there.

    In the mean time, a garden hose nozzle up under there might move them if you do it enough times in the middle of the night to disrupt their sleep.

    At any rate, it is more likely to work then a BB gun.

  4. Patocazador

    Patocazador Well-Known Member

    Are you located out of a city limit where you can use a shotgun?
    The only way I know to try to make a dent in them otherwise is to contact someone who is a falconer. Sparrow hawks (kestrels) are good to use on starlings.
  5. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

  6. splattergun

    splattergun Well-Known Member

    What RC says. As long as the holes are there, the birds and/or squirrels will be there.

    You could always try the combination approach; shoot the ones that are there and close the openings.

    If you do use an owl decoy, make sure you move it daily. It will keep 'em guessing longer. A stationary deek is soon discovered to be non-threatening.

    I don't know if your chosen tool is powerful enough for those hard-feathered trash birds. I'd rather use a .177 pellet rifle than the Red Ryder range model lever action 200 shot carbine with a compass in the stock. Don't shoot yer eye out, kid!
  7. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Well-Known Member

    Yep....problem is, the time to fil the holes was earlier this spring before they started nesting. Even if you kill all the adults, you probably already have eggs and/or fledglings in the nests. Kill the adults, and/or plug the holes and the eggs/fledglings remain to decompose and stink. Parent birds will also go to great lengths to get back in the holes when plugged if they aren't killed, whereas before they make their nests, it only takes a small amount of effort to deter them. Starlings like other birds return year after year to successful nesting sites. Odds are some of the birds you have now have been there before.
  8. JAshley73

    JAshley73 Well-Known Member

    I was afraid of that, and I agree, that closing the holes would be the best way to fix it.

    I'll see if I can kill all I can. I do like the garden hose idea though. Wish me luck...
  9. Jim NE

    Jim NE Well-Known Member

    Thought I'd mention, an acquaintance of mine got the cops called on him for shooting nuisance birds in town with a BB gun. Check your local ordinances.

    This was several years ago. The lady across the street saw him shooting them and thought it was cruel, so she turned him in. The irony is that he then had to use the legal method - poison - which was a far slower and more cruel death. Oh well...animal lovers know best.
  10. joeschmoe

    joeschmoe Well-Known Member

    Add one of those mixer bottles inline with the garden hose with some bleach and liquid soap. It will help clean and leave a smell/residue they don't like. Plastic owl for a few days and then plug the holes.
  11. hey_poolboy

    hey_poolboy Well-Known Member

    I have a customer that has had great sucess stringing very thin wires across the area around the patio from poles, etc. Seems the birds hit them a few times because they can't see them well and move on.
    I'd say she has them strung about every 2'.

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2
  12. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Well they do sell bird netting you can put over your house too.

    But in the end.

    The solution is to stop up the holes.
    And they will leave and not come back.

  13. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Well-Known Member

    It's too bad you can't use a shotgun. I live outside the city limits so I can. I once took 3 shots into a flock of them and got about 20.

    I've used fake owls before; they don't bother cardinals, starling or robins. The only bird I ever saw pay any attention to it was a hawk.

    One thing birds really don't like is being messed with at night. I would go out when all is dark, get a ladder and really stir things up making them fly for dear life. I doubt they'll be back after that.
  14. MutinousDoug

    MutinousDoug Well-Known Member

    When I was a kid in 1960-61 or so I lived on Wright-Patterson AFB where my dad was stationed. Starlings were a nasty presence. The ground under their nesting trees were inches deep in guano after only a few nights. I think it must have been the provost marshal had the idea of mobilizing the entire (male) population of the quarters area to shoot starlings in an organized, "military" manner: the military police deployed pick-up trucks throughout the area and supplied 12 ga shells to all who showed up. Under the radio supervision of the MPs and oversight of our dads, we shot at the bird in the trees, systematically driving them from one side of the quarters (maybe 15-20 square blocks) to the other from sundown 'til just before dark for three evenings running. The MPs supplied us with shells and we gathered and threw our take into their trucks at the end of each evening and before the start of the next.
    We shot thousands of birds and I learned a little bit about shotgunning. No windows were broken or damage reported. There were probably 50 kids with their dads out there, blasting away in our back yards. I was about 12-13 at the time and could just barely handle Dad's model 31 Remington pump.
    The program was not repeated the next year and the starlings were just as bad, if not worse from then on.
    Good times though.
  15. JAshley73

    JAshley73 Well-Known Member

    I agree that RCmodel's advice of plugging up the holes is best. It will be tricky though filling anything on the top side, because the awning is so flimsy, I can't get up there. I'll have to get creative and see what we can come up with. The old saying "an ounce of prevention..." Is coming to mind. I should have done something this winter..

    I'll see if I can flush them out with the garden hose tonight to get them upset and discouraged. It's still too bad I can't use the shotgun though...;)
  16. Lethal Threat

    Lethal Threat Well-Known Member


    Check out this video on You Tube. This guy uses a HIGH end pellet gun to do the deed. However you can accomplish the same with a lesser quality pellet gun. You must first know your enemy and their habits.

  17. G21NE

    G21NE Well-Known Member

    Edgun (Ted) has lots of great information- I recommend you subscribe and watch all his videos.

    On another note-many cities also don't allow pellet/bb gun shooting along with firearms, so check you laws before you resort to any shooting.
  18. nathan

    nathan Well-Known Member

    Cats are good bird hunters
  19. Loc n Load

    Loc n Load Well-Known Member


    Denying them a nesting area is the best bet...as mentioned in previous posts.
    I have a RWS .177 that I shoot them with from inside my garage thru a window. I have shot more than 50 of them in single engagements and still had them landing in amongst the dead one's to loot my bird feeders. I used to shoot them with a 410, but it simply isn't cost effective anymore.....when I have bird food out in the feeders they swarm in by the dozens...good luck.
  20. Mobuck

    Mobuck member

    A relative recommended I start shooting them when they begin showing up in numbers and keep shooting until they won't allow me to close to shotgun range. I did that last year with good results. I got too busy to properly address their incursions after the first 3 weeks and the success rate dropped considerably. In the beginning, I could sometimes drop 3 males sitting with one shot. Later, I only had wing shooting as they boogied out the other side of the tree tops.

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