What is the United States doing to get rid of the European Starling?

The United States battle against the invasive European starling is multifaceted. A combination of habitat management, population control and research initiatives have been implemented to reduce the bird’s impact.

The importance of addressing this issue is clear – native bird populations, crops and infrastructure are all at risk. Habitat management plans include removal of non-native vegetation and promoting native plants to attract beneficial birds and deter starlings.

Population control involves exclusion techniques like netting or bird spikes, as well as trapping programs to capture and remove starlings. Research includes studying behavior and migration patterns to form targeted control strategies. Alternative deterrents such as sonic devices or visual stimuli are also being explored.

It all started in 1890 with Eugene Schieffelin, who wanted to introduce all bird species mentioned in Shakespeare’s works to North America. He released 60 European starlings into Central Park in NYC, setting off a chain reaction that caused rapid expansion across the continent.

Concerted efforts are needed to manage and mitigate the starling population. By combining habitat management, population control and research, the United States is taking steps to reduce the presence of this invasive species and protect native ecosystems.

Background of the European Starling invasion in the United States

The European Starling invasion in the USA has become a worry. This species was brought in the 19th century and quickly spread across North America. It can cause harm to native bird species and crops.

The Starlings have done well because they are adaptable, like to be in groups, and can outcompete other birds for food and nests. They are also aggressive and can push native birds out of their homes.

An interesting thing about these Starlings is that they can copy sounds, including human speech. This talent makes them popular for captors, but also helps them as invaders. They use their calls to talk to each other and to defend their space.

To stop this, different methods are used. For example, there are sound devices that make distress calls or predator sounds. These will make Starlings not want to stay in certain areas. Also, people use netting or screens in places where Starlings present a real danger.

Sadly, the population of these birds keeps increasing, making it difficult for conservationists and researchers to control them. It is really important for people to report sightings of Starlings, so that their movements and habits can be tracked.

To get people to care, campaigns to explain the ecological impacts of Starlings must be launched. People should know how they can hurt native birds and nature. Communities should be encouraged to act to reduce Starling numbers.

This struggle against Starlings needs help from governments, organizations, scientists, and citizens. We must work together to use sustainable practices and management strategies. If we do this, we can lessen the damage Starlings cause. Together we can make a difference for native birds and their habitats.

Current efforts by the United States to control the European Starling population

The U.S. has taken different steps in recent years to manage the European Starling population. Their efforts involve controlling numbers and minimizing harm to native birds and crops. One tactic is trapping in certain areas.

Avian contraceptives are also being explored to reduce starling reproduction. By introducing birth control, it is hoped that the population will decrease. This method hopes to be humane, without harming other wildlife.

Scientists are looking for natural predators of European Starlings, to make alternative control strategies. Predators could help regulate starling numbers without causing too much disruption.

In the early 20th century, European Starlings were brought to North America with the goal of having all birds in Shakespeare’s works in the U.S. This decision had negative effects, as the starlings multiplied and pushed out native birds.

For successful management of starling populations, ongoing research and collaboration between government, conservation groups, and scientific communities is essential. Through innovation and partnerships, the U.S. aims to find solutions that preserve biodiversity and protect agriculture from the impacts of these invasive birds.

4.1 Legislative measures and regulations

Legislation can be a powerful tool in the fight against the European Starling infestation. To this end, the US has implemented a range of measures. These include:

  1. The Federal Migratory Bird Act to stop killing, capturing, or possession of these birds without a permit.
  2. The Asilomar Declaration puts guidelines in place for the release of captive Starlings.
  3. The USDA Avian Health Program also monitors and tests for avian diseases that could be spread by them.

Local governments are also implementing regulations to control the Starlings, such as exclusion techniques and bird feeder management.

Let’s work together with the US and comply with these rules. Doing so will help protect the environment and keep biodiversity alive for future generations!

4.2 Implementation of trapping and hunting programs

The U.S. has taken action against European starlings. Trapping and hunting are used to reduce their numbers.

Program Name Objectives Methods
Trapping Program Lower population Traps for capture
Hunting Program Control spread Encourage hunting

Other tactics include decoys and bird deterrents to stop them nesting in certain areas.

Suggestions to get rid of starlings:

  1. Public awareness campaigns to inform people of the harm caused by these birds. This can increase participation in trapping and hunting.
  2. Stricter regulations on bird feeders, so starlings don’t have an excessive food supply. This will make areas less attractive to them and reduce their numbers.

These ideas work because increased public awareness leads to more people trapping and hunting. Stricter regulations on bird feeders decreases the food supply, meaning starlings are less likely to come.

4.3 Utilization of predator birds for control

The utilization of predator birds for control involves using these birds to reduce the European Starling problem. Let’s investigate this method.

Types of Predator Birds:

  1. American Kestrels – Diet mainly consists of small mammals and insects, thus making them good predators of European Starlings.
  2. Barn Owls – Exceptional hunters, can even catch prey in complete darkness.
  3. Peregrine Falcons – Known for their speed and agility, allowing them to quickly capture starlings.
  4. Red-Tailed Hawks – Good vision helps spot starling populations from high altitudes.
  5. Cooper’s Hawks – Agile hunters specializing in capturing birds, so they are valuable for controlling starlings.

Extra details to consider: Training programs are necessary for successful cooperation between predator birds and wildlife management teams.

4.4 Research and monitoring initiatives

Research and monitoring regarding European Starlings is essential to prevent their population increase. Scientists continually conduct research to understand the birds better. Different programs track their movements and acquire data about their habitats and breeding. Investigations reveal the effect of these birds on other species and surroundings.

In addition, researchers search for new methods to control or restrain the population without harming other wildlife. These initiatives give valuable information about the danger of European Starlings and help build effective plans for their management.

Tip: You can join in citizen science projects, like bird counts or report sightings, to support ongoing research.

Challenges faced in the eradication of the European Starling

The European Starling is a tough one to get rid of. Its adaptability, large population, and aggressive nature towards other birds complicate the efforts. Plus, its ability to mimic sounds and tendency to nest in hard-to-reach places make it even harder.

Another challenge is its effect on native species. Starlings can compete for food and nesting sites, resulting in a decline of other birds. This causes concern for conservationists working to protect native species.

To manage the population, scare tactics like loud noises or visual deterrents are used. Trapping and relocating individual birds is also effective, but it’s hard to do this on a large scale.

It seems unlikely that we’ll be able to completely eradicate the European Starling. It’s too resilient. That’s why ongoing management practices are necessary to minimize its impact on native species.

Research conducted by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology shows that despite control measures, the European Starling continues to grow and expand across North America. This emphasizes the need for more research and innovative strategies to effectively manage this invasive species.


The United States has made huge efforts to reduce the European Starling population. Traps, culling and more have been used to disrupt their breeding. To make life harder for them, scientists are using avian distress calls to make roosting areas uncomfortable. A specific strain of bacteria has also been used to treat nesting material, making it less attractive. Public awareness campaigns have been key too, teaching people how they can help protect native birds in their area.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the European Starling?
A: The European Starling is a bird species native to Europe and was introduced to North America in the late 19th century.

Q: Why is the European Starling considered a problem in the United States?
A: European Starlings are considered invasive species that compete with native birds for resources, disrupt agricultural practices, and cause damage to structures.

Q: What is the United States doing to control the population of European Starlings?
A: The United States employs several strategies to control the European Starling population, including trapping and removal, targeted shooting, and the use of avian contraceptives.

Q: Are there any laws protecting European Starlings in the United States?
A: No, European Starlings are not protected by federal laws in the United States, as they are considered invasive species.

Q: Can the public help in getting rid of European Starlings?
A: Yes, the public can help by reporting European Starling sightings, discouraging roosting and nesting on their properties, and avoiding the intentional feeding of European Starlings.

Q: What is the long-term goal in managing the European Starling population in the United States?
A: The long-term goal is to reduce the negative impact of European Starlings on native biodiversity, agriculture, and infrastructure through effective population management strategies.

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.