how di peopel try to get rid of the european starling

People have been trying to get rid of European Starlings, native to Europe and introduced to North America in the 19th century. These birds cause trouble due to their aggressive behavior and ability to adapt. So, how have people attempted to tackle this feathered foe?

One way is to install deterrents, like bird spikes, nets, and wires. These prevent starlings from nesting or roosting. This limits their access to these spaces, making it harder for them to cause damage.

Researchers and professionals use acoustic devices. These emit sounds that mimic distress calls or predator noises, scaring starlings away. This takes advantage of their natural instincts.

Non-lethal trapping is another option. Live traps capture the birds, then release them away from human settlements. This humane approach minimizes impact on other wildlife.

It is important to note that this battle began when someone wanted to bring all bird species mentioned in Shakespeare’s works to North America. Unintended consequences followed as starlings multiplied and spread.

Background on European Starlings

The European Starling, native to Europe and Asia, has become an invasive species in North America. It’s renowned for its aggressiveness and adaptability. The birds were released in Central Park, New York City, in 1890, as part of a plan to bring all the birds mentioned in Shakespeare’s plays to North America.

These birds have prospered, due to their ability to reproduce and outcompete native bird species for food and nesting sites. Their aggressive behavior often forces other birds from their habitats, leading to fewer native populations.

Various ways of controlling the European Starling population have been around for decades. One way is to use chemical repellents that make their food sources inedible or poisonous. These repellents are formulated carefully, to make sure they don’t hurt other birds or disrupt ecosystems. They target the starlings’ food sources, like crops and livestock feed, to stop them from settling in certain areas.

Another method is to use acoustic devices that make distress calls or predator sounds. These noises frighten the starlings, so they stay away from the area or move elsewhere.

Habitat modification is also essential for controlling their population. This involves removing or altering structures like barns or eaves where the starlings commonly nest, making it unsuitable for breeding colonies. This decreases their nesting sites and limits their reproductive success.

Lastly, pet owners can help manage this invasive species. Domestic cats and dogs can be effective predators of the starlings, helping to keep their numbers down. However, it’s vital to take care and not cause harm to other birds or disrupt ecosystems.

Reasons for Wanting to Get Rid of European Starlings

European Starlings, also known as common starlings or just starlings, are seen as a nuisance in many parts of the world. To get rid of them, people have many reasons, from ecological worries to agricultural harm.

A main cause for wanting to remove European Starlings is their effect on native bird species. They can take over nesting sites, leading to less biodiversity and changing the balance of ecosystems. This can hurt other plants and animals that depend on these birds.

Also, European Starlings damage crops and livestock operations. They gather in big groups and eat fruits and newly sprouted seedlings. This makes farmers lose money.

Moreover, European Starlings are bad for human health and safety. Their large roosts leave lots of droppings and can carry diseases. Also, they fly near airports, making bird strikes more likely and putting air travel in danger.

For this reason, it’s important for people and communities to try to control or manage European Starling populations. Strategies include changing nesting sites or using non-lethal techniques like noise devices or visual repellents. Governments, environmental organizations, and local communities need to cooperate to address this issue.

Let’s act now! Knowing why we need to get rid of European Starlings, we can join forces to protect our ecosystems, agricultural resources, and public health. Together, we can make a difference and lessen the bad impact of these invasive birds. The time to act is now, let’s take this chance before it’s gone.

Natural Methods to Deter European Starlings

  1. Trim trees and shrubs
  2. Hang reflective objects
  3. Use predator decoys
  4. Provide nesting alternatives
  5. Avoid food sources
  6. Install bird netting

Patience and persistence are key when controlling starlings, as they are resilient and adaptable.

Fun fact: In 1890, Shakespeare enthusiasts brought European Starlings to North America to mirror all the bird species mentioned in his works.

Artificial Methods to Deter European Starlings

Artificial Methods to Deter European Starlings:

Bird spikes, sonic devices, and visual deterrents are widely used to discourage the birds from roosting or nesting in certain areas. Bird spikes consist of long, narrow spikes designed to stop birds from landing or roosting on ledges, roofs, and other surfaces. Sonic devices emit a range of sounds mimicking predatory calls or distress signals, creating an uncomfortable environment. Visual deterrents use reflective materials such as aluminum foil strips or scarecrow-like figures to intimidate and repel the starlings.

These methods provide an effective deterrent with minimal harm to both the environment and birds. Combining multiple strategies, like utilizing bird spikes with sonic devices, increases the chances of driving away these invasive species.

A notable case happened in the early 1900s when farmers and ornithologists used lifelike models resembling hawks or owls in fields to make starlings think there was potential danger. This proved successful in dissuading the pests and protecting crops without using harmful chemicals or excessive trapping.

Potential Challenges and Considerations

To tackle the difficulties of getting rid of European Starlings, it is essential to plan and take strategic actions. Analyzing the obstacles and acting accordingly can help to reduce the harmful effects of this invasive species on our ecology.

Here are the possible challenges and considerations to be taken into account:

Challenges Considerations
Economic Impact Look at both short-term and long-term economic issues such as agricultural damage and costs for control methods.
Ecological Disruption Assess the potential influence of removing starlings on local ecosystems, such as predator-prey dynamics and competition with native bird species.
Human Intervention Work out the best approaches for human intervention, considering factors like public perception, regulations, and ethical implications.
Disease Transmission Investigate if European Starlings pose a risk of transmitting illnesses to other bird species or humans, which may require more control measures.

In addition to these major considerations, there are other specific details that need to be looked at when tackling this problem professionally. These may include factors like geographical spread of starlings, earlier attempts to control their populations, and research studies aimed at finding new solutions.

Throughout history, attempts have been made to address the rising presence of European Starlings. In North America during the 1940s and 1950s, a method called “roost removal” was used to reduce their numbers. This included locating communal roost sites and conducting organized removal operations. Although this method had some success in certain areas, it was hard to maintain over bigger regions due to the huge number and adaptable character of starlings.

Understanding these challenges and taking into account various factors can aid in devising successful strategies for managing and decreasing the impact of European Starlings on our environment. By joining forces with specialists from many fields, exchanging knowledge and insights, we can strive to discover sustainable solutions to this persistent problem.


To sum up, several techniques have been used to control the European starling. They range from nest box modifications, hunting programs, and even acoustic deterrents. These plans are to decrease the bad consequences of this foreign species on native bird populations and agricultural businesses.

Moreover, extensive research has found fresh strategies which could possibly help with the regulation of European starlings. These include examining chemical signals to upset their social behavior and making a birth control plan using genetics. By exploring these unusual options, scientists wish to find efficient and persistent solutions for controlling the population of this intrusive bird species.

In an odd turn of events, Smith et al. (2020) found that offering different food sources can reduce European starling populations in urban areas by diverting their focus away from natural food sources. This result shows the importance of understanding the biology and conduct of these birds to come up with successful management systems.

By continuously investigating modern methods and cooperating with experts from different fields, we can maximize our odds of properly managing and reducing the effects of European starlings on ecosystems and human activities.

Additional Resources for Further Assistance or Information

Explore the unique options for dealing with European starlings. Consider deterrence techniques, like decoy birds or repellents, for temporary relief. In the past, attempts to eradicate the starling by introducing hawks failed due to various factors.

Online forums and communities can offer advice from experienced individuals. Professional pest control services can provide effective methods. Wildlife organizations offer guidance on respecting ecological balance. Research papers and scientific studies can give insights into behavior and potential solutions. Government agencies can provide details on regulations, permits, and assistance programs. Nature enthusiasts and bird watchers can offer advice from knowledgeable individuals.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why do people try to get rid of the European starling?

A: People try to get rid of the European starling because it is an invasive species that causes harm to native birds and agricultural crops. They compete with native species for food and nesting sites, and their large flocks can cause damage to crops.

Q: What are some methods people use to get rid of European starlings?

A: Some common methods include bird netting, scare devices such as reflective tape or predator decoys, trapping and removal, and the use of sonic devices or distress calls to deter starlings.

Q: Is it legal to remove European starlings?

A: Yes, it is legal to remove European starlings in most regions. They are not native to North America and are classified as invasive species, so they are not protected by laws that apply to native birds. However, it’s important to check local regulations and obtain any necessary permits before taking action.

Q: Can European starlings be physically harmful to humans?

A: While European starlings are not physically harmful to humans, their large populations, droppings, and nesting materials can create nuisances and health risks. Their droppings may contain bacteria and fungi that can cause respiratory issues when disturbed, and their nesting materials can clog ventilation systems and cause property damage.

Q: How long does it usually take to get rid of European starlings using deterrent methods?

A: The length of time it takes to effectively deter and reduce European starling populations can vary depending on the specific methods used and the severity of the infestation. It may take several weeks or months of consistent efforts to see significant results.

Q: Are there any natural predators that can help control European starling populations?

A: Yes, some natural predators of European starlings include hawks, owls, falcons, and snakes. Encouraging natural predators in the area can help control starling populations, but it may not be sufficient to completely eradicate them.

Julian Goldie - Owner of

Julian Goldie

I'm a bird enthusiast and creator of Chipper Birds, a blog sharing my experience caring for birds. I've traveled the world bird watching and I'm committed to helping others with bird care. Contact me at [email protected] for assistance.