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Starling Nuisance

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Stuttz, Jun 5, 2012.

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  1. Stuttz

    Stuttz Member

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    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.
     
  2. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Member

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    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.
     
  3. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    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.
     
  4. Texan Scott

    Texan Scott Member

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    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.
     
  5. SHR970

    SHR970 Member

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    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.
     
  6. Stuttz

    Stuttz Member

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    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?
     
  7. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    A bb gun and a case of beer....
     
  8. Texan Scott

    Texan Scott Member

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    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.
     
  9. Larry Ashcraft

    Larry Ashcraft Moderator Staff Member

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    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.
     
  10. Beat-tu

    Beat-tu Member

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    .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.
     
  11. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Member

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    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.
     
  12. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    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.
     
  13. Texan Scott

    Texan Scott Member

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    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).
     
  14. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    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
     
  15. Stuttz

    Stuttz Member

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    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!
     
  16. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Member

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    [​IMG]

    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.
     
  17. Stuttz

    Stuttz Member

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    Good point, do you think a .410 could handle crows reliably at around 20-25 feet? Assuming they're not flying, of course
     
  18. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    20 to 25 feet on a crow? A .410 oughta work plenty good.
     
  19. SHR970

    SHR970 Member

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    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.
     
  20. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    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.
     
  21. Magwa45

    Magwa45 Member

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    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.
     
  22. Stuttz

    Stuttz Member

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    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...
     
  23. blarby

    blarby Member

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    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.
     
  24. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    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.......
     
  25. Bubbles

    Bubbles Member

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    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.
     
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