What Measures Are Being Taken to Control the Starling Population?

What Is Being Done To Get Rid Of The Starling

Starlings, often considered as pests, are small to medium-sized birds known for their highly adaptable nature and ability to form large flocks. Their presence can cause significant concerns and issues, especially in agricultural and urban areas. To address these concerns, various methods have been developed to effectively get rid of starlings. Let’s explore the different approaches and ongoing initiatives for starling control.

Before delving into the control methods, it is important to understand what starlings are and why they are a concern. Starlings are invasive species native to Europe and were introduced to North America in the 19th century. Their rapid population growth and aggressive behavior pose a threat to native bird species, damage crops, inflict property damage, and create nuisance through their noise and droppings.

Methods to get rid of starlings can be categorized into natural and man-made control methods. Natural control methods focus on utilizing deterrents, modifying habitats, using repellents, removing nests, and managing bird feeders to discourage starling presence. On the other hand, man-made control methods include trapping and relocation, use of toxicants, and shooting within legal frameworks.

However, starling control comes with its own set of challenges. One major concern is the potential impact on other bird species. Implementing control measures should aim to minimize the harm caused to non-target species. Legislative and ethical considerations also come into play when deciding on the most appropriate control methods.

To address these challenges and develop more effective control strategies, ongoing research and initiatives are being conducted. Scare tactics and noise devices are being explored to deter starlings, and biological control methods, such as introducing natural predators, are being researched. Collaborative efforts with farmers and landowners are also being fostered to develop sustainable and integrated approaches to starling control.

Key takeaway:

  • Starling control methods aim to address their negative impacts: Starlings are a concern due to their potential impact on bird species and ethical considerations. Efforts are being made to get rid of starlings through physical deterrents, habitat modification, repellents, nest removal, and bird feeder management.
  • Ongoing research focuses on innovative ways to control starlings: Scare tactics, noise devices, and biological control methods are being studied to effectively manage the starling population. Collaborative efforts with farmers and landowners are also being encouraged to mitigate the damage caused by starlings.
  • Balancing starling control with environmental conservation is important: Potential impacts on other bird species and ethical considerations need to be carefully weighed when implementing starling control measures. Population control methods should be sustainable and minimize harm to other wildlife.

What is a Starling?

A starling is a type of bird that belongs to the family Sturnidae. What is a starling? It is characterized by its small to medium size, short tail, and dark plumage with metallic green and purple iridescence. Starlings are known for their remarkable vocal abilities, often mimicking sounds and songs from their environment.

Starlings are highly adaptable birds and can be found in various habitats, including urban areas, farmland, and woodlands. They are known for their flocking behavior, often forming large groups called murmurations. These murmurations can consist of thousands or even millions of birds, creating mesmerizing aerial displays.

While starlings may be appreciated for their beauty and vocal talents, they can also be a concern in certain situations. Their large flocks can cause damage to agricultural crops, leading to economic losses for farmers. In urban areas, their nesting habits can result in unsightly and unsanitary conditions, as their droppings accumulate and become a nuisance.

Understanding the behavior and habits of starlings is essential in effectively managing and controlling their populations. Various methods, including physical deterrents, habitat modification, repellents, nest removal, and bird feeder management, can be employed to address the issues posed by starlings. Ongoing research and initiatives are continuously being conducted to develop new and innovative strategies for starling control.

To minimize the impact of starlings and address the concerns they may pose, it is important to be proactive and take appropriate measures tailored to the specific situation and environment. By understanding the biology and behavior of starlings, effective management techniques can be implemented to mitigate the negative effects associated with these birds.

Why are Starlings a Concern?

Starlings are a cause for concern for several reasons. First and foremost, they can cause significant damage to various structures and properties, resulting in considerable repair and maintenance costs. These costs can quickly accumulate, placing a burden on homeowners, businesses, and municipalities alike. The second reason is that starlings pose health risks, particularly when they gather in large numbers. Their droppings can carry diseases that are harmful to humans and other animals. The buildup of their droppings can create unsanitary conditions, promoting the spread of bacteria and attracting pests.

Another concern associated with starlings is their tendency to create fire hazards. They frequently build nests in chimneys, vents, and other areas where flammable materials are present. These nests can obstruct ventilation systems and become highly flammable, increasing the risk of fires. Furthermore, starlings can disturb residents with their constant noise. During nesting season, when their numbers peak, their loud and raucous calls can be disruptive, leading to annoyance and disturbance for people living or working nearby.

Starlings are a concern due to the estimated costs related to the damage they cause, the health risks they present, the fire hazards they create, and the disturbance they cause to residents. It is crucial to address these concerns and implement effective control methods to minimize the negative impact of starlings.

Introduced to North America in the late 19th century, starlings originated from Europe. A group of Shakespeare enthusiasts released approximately 60 European starlings in Central Park, New York. Since then, the starling population has rapidly increased and spread across the continent, making them an invasive species. Their adaptability, aggressive behavior, and high reproductive rate have allowed them to thrive in various environments, outcompeting native bird species. This situation has raised concerns among conservationists and bird enthusiasts who strive to safeguard native biodiversity and ecological balance. Efforts are underway to study the impact of starlings on other bird species, implement legislation, and consider ethical aspects in managing their population. Additionally, finding effective population control methods requires collaboration between farmers, landowners, pest management specialists, and researchers. This collaborative approach has become crucial in identifying sustainable solutions to mitigate the negative effects of starlings on the environment and native bird populations.

Methods to Get Rid of Starlings

Looking to bid farewell to those pesky starlings? We’ve got you covered with a range of methods to rid yourself of these avian intruders. From natural control methods that blend with the environment to man-made strategies that take a more hands-on approach, we’ll explore the ways you can reclaim your space. Get ready to dive into physical deterrents, habitat modification, repellents, nest removal, and proper bird feeder management. Say goodbye to the starling invasion once and for all!

Natural Starling Control Methods

When it comes to controlling starlings, there are several natural starling control methods that can be effective. Here are some natural starling control methods to consider:

  1. Thick out: One natural starling control method is to create dense vegetation. Planting shrubs and trees close together can make it difficult for starlings to find suitable nesting spots.

  2. Scaring away: Another natural starling control method is to scare them away using visual deterrents such as reflective objects, streamers, or scare balloons. These objects create movement and reflections that can make starlings feel threatened and encourage them to go elsewhere.

  3. Decreasing nesting spots: Since starlings are cavity nesters, a natural starling control method is to seal off any openings or holes in buildings. Installing bird netting or screens can effectively close off potential nesting spots.

  4. Removing food sources: To discourage starlings from visiting your property, it is important to remove any potential food sources that attract them, such as bird feeders or spilled pet food. By keeping these areas clean, you can reduce the presence of starlings.

  5. Natural predators: Encouraging natural predators like owls, hawks, or snakes can help control the starling population in a natural way. Providing suitable habitats or nesting boxes for these predators can increase their presence and help deter starlings.

In summary, natural starling control methods include thickening vegetation, scaring the birds away, reducing nesting spots, removing food sources, and cultivating natural predators. By implementing these methods, you can effectively manage starling populations in a natural and humane way.

Man-made Starling Control Methods

The man-made starling control methods aim to deter and remove starlings from specific areas. Here are some effective techniques to address this issue:

  1. Physical Deterrents: Using spiky porcupine wires or installing wire prongs can prevent starlings from landing or roosting on structures.
  2. Habitat Modification: Regularly inspecting your yard and addressing potential nesting spots, such as clogged gutters, can discourage starlings from setting up their homes.
  3. Repellents: Certain fungal agents or bird deterrents can be applied to deter starlings from specific areas.
  4. Nest Removal: Removing nest materials can discourage starlings from returning to the same location to nest.
  5. Bird Feeders Management: Managing bird food by limiting access or using sunflower kernels/chips that starlings don’t prefer can reduce their attraction to bird feeders.

These man-made starling control methods provide practical ways to mitigate the presence of starlings and reduce their negative impact. It’s important to note that it may be necessary to combine multiple methods for greater effectiveness, depending on the severity of the starling infestation. It’s crucial to consider the potential impact on other bird species and adhere to legislative and ethical considerations when implementing these control methods. Ongoing research and collaborative efforts with farmers and landowners, such as those led by organizations like Smith’s Pest Management and individuals like Jessica Gibson, contribute to advancing and implementing effective strategies in starling control.

1. Physical Deterrents

When it comes to controlling starlings, physical deterrents can be an effective method. Here are some options:

  1. Spiky porcupine wires: Installing spiky wires can help prevent starlings from landing and roosting on buildings or other structures.
  2. Install wire prongs: Similar to spiky wires, wire prongs can be installed on ledges and other surfaces to deter starlings from perching.

These physical deterrents create an uncomfortable surface for starlings to land on, discouraging them from roosting or nesting in unwanted areas.

2. Habitat Modification

If you want to discourage the presence of starlings and modify their habitat, there are several steps you can take naturally:

  1. Regularly inspect your yard for areas that may attract starlings, such as open containers, bird feeders, or uncovered garbage cans.
  2. To prevent nesting material buildup, ensure you clean and maintain your gutters. Starlings often make nests in gutters and downspouts.
  3. On areas where starlings tend to roost or nest, use fungal agents that create an unfavorable environment for them, discouraging their stay.
  4. Install bird deterrents like spikes or netting on structures such as roofs, balconies, or windowsills where starlings may nest or roost.
  5. If you find starling nests on your property, carefully remove them and dispose of the nest material properly. Ensure no nesting material is left behind.
  6. When providing bird food, be mindful of the type you use. Avoid using bird food that attracts starlings, such as sunflower kernels or chips, as they are a favorite food for starlings.
  7. Avoid placing sunflower kernels or chips in your bird feeders, as they are highly attractive to starlings.

By implementing these steps to modify the habitat, you can create an environment that is less appealing to starlings, thus reducing their presence in your yard or property.

3. Repellents

  1. Repellents: Certain fungi can be used as repellents to deter starlings. These substances make the starlings uncomfortable and discourage them from nesting or roosting in the area.

  2. Bird deterrents: Devices such as visual deterrents, such as reflective tape or windsocks, can be effective in scaring away starlings. These visual deterrents create movements and reflections that make the starlings feel threatened, causing them to avoid the area.

A pro-tip to enhance the effectiveness of repellents is to rotate them regularly. Starlings can become habituated to a constant deterrent, so changing the type or location of repellents can help maintain their effectiveness over time.

4. Nest Removal

When it comes to getting rid of starlings, nest removal is an essential step in controlling their population. Here are the steps involved in the process of nest removal:

  1. Identify the starling nests in your vicinity. Locate areas where starlings have constructed their nests, such as trees, vents, or other openings on your property.
  2. Safely eliminate the nest material. Ensure your safety by using gloves and other protective gear to avoid direct contact with the nest. Dispose of the nest material in a sealed plastic bag.
  3. Seal off potential nesting spots. After removing the nests, prevent starlings from rebuilding by blocking any openings or crevices. You can accomplish this by using wire mesh or sealing off holes in walls or roofs.
  4. Maintain cleanliness in your surroundings. Keep your property clean and free of food sources that may attract starlings. Regularly dispose of food scraps and garbage in sealed containers.
  5. Monitor the area for signs of starling activity. Stay vigilant and look out for any new nests or attempts by starlings to build nests. Take immediate action to remove any newly built nests to prevent the starling population from increasing further.

By following these steps, you can effectively eliminate starling nests and deter further nesting activity on your property.

5. Bird Feeders Management

When it comes to bird feeders management, there are certain measures you can take to ensure that other bird species can enjoy the feeders:

  1. Choose bird food wisely: Opt for bird food that is less appealing to starlings, such as nyjer seed or safflower seed. These seeds are not a favorite of starlings but are loved by other birds like finches and cardinals.
  2. Use sunflower kernels or chips: If you prefer to offer sunflower seeds, using sunflower kernels or chips instead of whole sunflower seeds can discourage starlings. They have a harder time cracking these smaller pieces and may move on to easier food sources.

Pro-tip: If starlings continue to be a problem at your bird feeders, consider using specialized feeders with features that deter larger birds, such as cages or weight-activated mechanisms. This way, you can attract a variety of bird species while minimizing the presence of starlings.

Challenges in Starling Control

The challenges in controlling starlings go beyond the mere act itself. We’ll explore how starlings can potentially impact other bird species, the legislative and ethical considerations surrounding their control, and effective population control strategies. Get ready to dive into the complexities of mitigating the starling menace and the multifaceted dimensions that come into play.

1. Potential Impact on Other Bird Species

When implementing control methods, it is crucial to take into consideration the potential impact of starlings on other bird species. Here are some factors that should be considered:

  1. Competition for resources: Starlings, being aggressive birds, have the ability to outcompete other species for food and nesting sites. This can result in a decline in the population of other bird species within a given area.
  2. Displacement of native species: In many regions, starlings are classified as an invasive species, meaning they are not native to the area. As their population grows, they can displace native bird species from their natural habitats.
  3. Nest site competition: Starlings have a known habit of taking over nest sites that were previously occupied by other birds. This can lead to the displacement of nesting bird species and may even cause nesting failures.
  4. Impact on cavity-nesting species: Starlings are cavity nesters and can compete with other bird species that rely on tree cavities for nesting. This competition can limit the availability of nest sites for species such as woodpeckers, owls, and bluebirds.

In order to minimize the potential impact on other bird species, it is important to carefully consider the methods used for starling control. Here are some suggestions:

  • Implement targeted control measures: Focus on reducing starling populations without causing harm to other bird species. Avoid using methods that can harm or kill non-target birds.
  • Provide alternative habitats: Create or maintain nesting sites specifically for cavity-nesting bird species to ensure they have suitable nesting options.
  • Support native bird species: Plant native vegetation and provide bird feeders with appropriate food sources to attract and support native bird species.
  • Collaborate with conservation organizations: Work with local conservation groups and wildlife experts to develop and implement effective strategies for bird conservation and starling control.

2. Legislative and Ethical Considerations


The legislative and ethical considerations are fundamental when addressing the issue of starlings to ensure effective and humane solutions. Here are some key aspects to keep in mind:

  1. Legislation: Governments have regulations and laws in place to regulate the control and management of starlings. These regulations aim to balance the need for control while safeguarding wildlife and the environment. It is crucial to be familiar with local laws and regulations to ensure compliance when implementing control methods.
  2. Ethical concerns: When dealing with starlings, it is essential to contemplate the ethical implications of any control methods. Some strategies, such as shooting or poisoning, may raise ethical concerns due to the potential harm they can cause not only to starlings but also to other bird species and the broader ecosystem. Opting for humane and environmentally friendly methods is vital in addressing the starling issue while minimizing harm to other species.
  3. Alternative approaches: Instead of resorting to lethal control methods, various alternative approaches can be considered. These include habitat modification, installation of physical deterrents, and the use of non-lethal repellents. These methods help deter starlings without causing harm to them or other bird species.
  4. Collaboration: Collaborating with farmers, landowners, and pest management professionals can result in more effective and sustainable solutions. Sharing knowledge, experiences, and best practices can help collectively address the challenges posed by starlings. Initiatives such as Smith Pest Management and collaborating with experts like Jessica Gibson can offer valuable insights.

By taking into account legislative requirements, ethical considerations, and alternative approaches, we can discover effective and compassionate ways to manage the starling population while minimizing any negative impact on other bird species and the environment.

3. Population Control

Population control is crucial for effectively managing the starling population. Implementing measures to control the starling population is necessary to mitigate the detrimental effects on other bird species and ecosystems. To address this issue, various strategies can be employed.

1. Taking over: Starlings have a tendency to displace native bird species by taking over nesting sites. It is important to monitor nesting areas and take necessary action to control starling populations.

2. Invasive species: Starlings are regarded as invasive species in many regions due to their rapid reproduction and adaptability to different environments. It is essential to implement measures to control their spread.

To ensure ethical population control, it is important to adhere to legislative considerations. Local regulations must be followed, and humane methods should be used for population management. Working collaboratively with wildlife management specialists and organizations can help develop comprehensive pest management solutions.

Ongoing research and initiatives are also vital for discovering new and effective ways to control the starling population. Scare tactics and noise devices, such as loud shrieks or scare tactics, have shown some success in deterring starlings. Additionally, biological control methods, including pest management techniques and professional wildlife removal specialists, can be utilized.

Collaborating with farmers and landowners is another avenue for effective population control. Partnering with organizations like Smith’s Pest Management and individuals like Jessica Gibson, who specialize in pest control, can aid in developing strategies tailored to specific regions and environments.

Population control plays a significant role in managing the starling population. By implementing ethical and effective strategies, collaborating with experts, and investing in ongoing research, we can work towards maintaining a balanced ecosystem and protecting native bird species.

Ongoing Research and Initiatives

Ongoing research and initiatives are making headway in the mission to manage the starling population. With diverse approaches like scare tactics and noise devices, biological control methods, and collaborative efforts with farmers and landowners, significant progress is being made. These methods aim to deter starlings, reduce their impact, and understand their behavior and patterns better. As researchers and conservationists join forces, we delve into the latest strategies that promise hope for effective starling management.

1. Scare Tactics and Noise Devices

The table below provides information on scare tactics and noise devices used for starling control:

Scare Tactics and Noise Devices
Loud shrieks
Scare tactics
Shakespeares plays
Speckled starlings

Scare tactics and noise devices are commonly employed methods to deter starlings and prevent them from causing damage or disturbance. One effective method is the use of loud shrieks, which startle the starlings and discourage them from gathering in specific areas. Another approach is through scare tactics, such as visual deterrents that mimic predators or other threats to starlings. These can include scarecrows, reflective materials, or moving objects.

Interestingly, the works of Shakespeare have also been known to help in mitigating starling issues. Playing recordings of Shakespeare’s plays, especially those featuring scenes with bird references, can confuse and deter starlings by interrupting their natural communication and behavior patterns.

The use of speckled starlings has shown promising results. Speckled starlings are birds that resemble starlings but have a higher level of aggression towards their own species. Introducing these birds to an area can discourage other starlings from settling, as the presence of speckled starlings signals potential conflict.

By utilizing scare tactics and noise devices, it is possible to reduce the presence of starlings and minimize the problems they may cause, such as property damage and noise disturbances. It is important to consider that these methods may require continuous monitoring and adjusting to ensure their effectiveness.

2. Biological Control Methods

Biological control methods are a highly effective means of managing starling populations and minimizing their impact. It is important to consider the following biological control methods:

  1. Comprehensive pest management solutions: One effective way to control starling populations is by implementing a comprehensive pest management approach. This entails identifying and addressing the factors that attract starlings to a specific area, including food sources, nesting spots, and roosting sites. By implementing measures to reduce these attractions, you can effectively manage the starling population.
  2. Professional wildlife removal specialist: Engaging the services of a professional wildlife removal specialist is an efficient and humane method for controlling starlings. These specialists possess the necessary expertise to handle and remove starlings from residential or commercial properties while prioritizing the safety of both humans and birds.

By utilizing these biological control methods, it becomes possible to mitigate the negative impact of starlings and effectively manage their populations.

3. Collaborative Efforts with Farmers and Landowners

Smith’s Pest Management: Smith’s Pest Management actively engages with farmers and landowners in a collaborative manner to effectively address the issue of starlings. They provide tailored professional pest management solutions that meet the specific needs of farmers and landowners.

Jessica Gibson: Jessica Gibson, a specialist in wildlife removal, works in collaboration with farmers and landowners to develop and implement highly effective strategies for starling control. Her extensive expertise in wildlife removal and pest management has played a vital role in the successful implementation of control measures.

Collaborative efforts with farmers and landowners: Farmers and landowners actively participate in collaborative efforts aimed at eradicating starlings. They work together to share their experiences, ideas, and knowledge on effective control methods. By sharing information and expertise, they strengthen their collective ability to address the starling problem.

By joining forces, Smith’s Pest Management, Jessica Gibson, and farmers and landowners are making significant progress in dealing with the issue of starlings. Their collaborative efforts aid in the implementation of comprehensive and targeted control measures, ensuring a reduction in starling populations and mitigating potential damages caused by these birds.

Some Facts About What Is Being Done To Get Rid Of Starlings:

  • ✅ Starlings are considered invasive and aggressive birds that can cause damage to yards and disrupt residents with their loud shrieks. (Source: Our Team)
  • ✅ Common tactics to get rid of starlings include removing food sources, decreasing nesting spots, using bird deterrents, and closing access points. (Source: Our Team)
  • ✅ It may be necessary to call a professional wildlife removal specialist if the problem with starlings persists. (Source: Our Team)
  • ✅ Safety considerations include the transmission of pathogens through birds, nests, and feces, as well as the fire hazard of improperly placed nests. (Source: Our Team)
  • ✅ Effective strategies to drive starlings away from your landscape include installing starling-proof bird feeders, using wire prongs along ledges, covering ledges with angled boards or sheet metal, draining standing water, and setting up noisy alarms or sound machines. (Source: Our Team)

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some common tactics to get rid of starlings?

Common tactics to get rid of starlings include removing food sources, decreasing nesting spots, using bird deterrents, and closing access points.

Is it necessary to call a professional to get rid of starlings?

If the problem persists, it may be necessary to call a professional wildlife removal specialist.

What should I do before starting to get rid of starlings?

Before starting, it is important to understand starlings’ nesting habits, behaviors, and food sources. It is also recommended to leave nest removal to a professional to comply with regulations protecting some birds.

What are the safety considerations when dealing with starlings?

Safety considerations include the transmission of pathogens through birds, nests, and feces, as well as the fire hazard of improperly placed nests.

How can I effectively drive starlings away from my landscape?

To effectively drive starlings away, you can install wire prongs along ledges, cover ledges to prevent roosting, drain standing water, wrap wire around bird feeders, and set up noisy alarms or sound machines.

How can I prevent starlings from accessing birdseed intended for other birds?

You can prevent starlings from accessing birdseed by encircling the entire bird feeder with 1 inch chicken wire or purchasing starling-proof bird feeders.

Julian Goldie - Owner of ChiperBirds.com

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.