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Old 06-06-2014, 10:47 AM   #71
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It was this thread that brought me to this site a couple of years ago, so I thought to update you all on the bird situation around here.

We have a few annoying HOSP around, but nothing like before. There are 2 children who have BB guns that work on dealing with them and Starlings. Trapping was successful early on, as many as 22 in it at one time (maybe that is mentioned in an earlier thread on this post), but I think it was a year ago when we last trapped even one.

We discovered our old garage made a fine HOSP trap. My husband was tearing it down last fall and just under the tip of the roof were eight HOSP in various stages of decomposition.

We save all (fresh) HOSP, EUST, and mice (trapped in the house) for a local raptor rehabber. We do not use lead shot for any of the guns, so she gladly takes them. We keep them in the freezer until we can deliver them. Lovely, I know. We used to pitch them into the pasture, but the neighbour's ferals took them. We'd like to feed the ferals to the vultures, but the neighbour doesn't like that idea.

We had one smart EUST who came by for about a month, he somehow got out of the nest box trap. ???? We thought it was broken, but it trapped a different Starling. Well, this one came by every morning to try out the Swallow and Bluebird nesting boxes. Unlike a woodpecker that would keep working until the hole was bigger, these holes never increased size. We figured every time he came here, he was not harassing any woodpeckers. But alas, he stopped coming. The children never could get him shot, not for lack of trying though.

We have our first Bluebird pair this year. It's our second year for Tree Swallows. We put up more boxes, but all the returnees fought over the one original box. And we have a Kestrel pair, at least as of yesterday still a pair (a Great Horned Owl was here last night and I always get nervous because one used the Kestrel box as a perch). The Kestrels have done a grand job of keeping the Starlings away; I read EUST are terrified of Kestrels. We just had that one brave soul. :P

I am glad we live on a piece of land out in the boonies. Did you hear about this? Later I was thinking about the proper burial. I imagine some critter unburied her efforts.
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Old 06-06-2014, 03:09 PM   #72
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I'm glad you have bluebirds and tree swallows bb. I am fighting off the hosp's and starlings also. I got my bb gun out. They fly away before I get a chance to use it. Starlings try to nest up high around the barn. I soak their nest with water or throw mud on top of it so I don't have to keep climbing up there with a ladder. I agree that cats should be indoors. I told the neighbor I use a super soaker to get rid of his girlfriends cats. He said she won't like that. I said she doesn't want my dog on her property and I don't want her cats on mine. He agreed with that.
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Old 06-07-2014, 08:10 AM   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Birding Bunch View Post
It was this thread that brought me to this site a couple of years ago, so I thought to update you all on the bird situation around here.

We have a few annoying HOSP around, but nothing like before. There are 2 children who have BB guns that work on dealing with them and Starlings. Trapping was successful early on, as many as 22 in it at one time (maybe that is mentioned in an earlier thread on this post), but I think it was a year ago when we last trapped even one.

We discovered our old garage made a fine HOSP trap. My husband was tearing it down last fall and just under the tip of the roof were eight HOSP in various stages of decomposition.

We save all (fresh) HOSP, EUST, and mice (trapped in the house) for a local raptor rehabber. We do not use lead shot for any of the guns, so she gladly takes them. We keep them in the freezer until we can deliver them. Lovely, I know. We used to pitch them into the pasture, but the neighbour's ferals took them. We'd like to feed the ferals to the vultures, but the neighbour doesn't like that idea.

We had one smart EUST who came by for about a month, he somehow got out of the nest box trap. ???? We thought it was broken, but it trapped a different Starling. Well, this one came by every morning to try out the Swallow and Bluebird nesting boxes. Unlike a woodpecker that would keep working until the hole was bigger, these holes never increased size. We figured every time he came here, he was not harassing any woodpeckers. But alas, he stopped coming. The children never could get him shot, not for lack of trying though.

We have our first Bluebird pair this year. It's our second year for Tree Swallows. We put up more boxes, but all the returnees fought over the one original box. And we have a Kestrel pair, at least as of yesterday still a pair (a Great Horned Owl was here last night and I always get nervous because one used the Kestrel box as a perch). The Kestrels have done a grand job of keeping the Starlings away; I read EUST are terrified of Kestrels. We just had that one brave soul. :P

I am glad we live on a piece of land out in the boonies. Did you hear about this? Later I was thinking about the proper burial. I imagine some critter unburied her efforts.
Great job, BB!!! Some city residents will always have a few House Sparrow and Starling, no matter how hard they try to eliminate them. I'm on an acre with neighbors spread around. I still see each species, but rarely get a chance to do anything about it now. They just stop by and are gone. You are the first person who I have found that could replicate this system. I have done it on a small scale with friends. If HOSP control can work on a small scale, then it could be done at any level, with enough effort.

I have one question. How can a European Starling enter a hole on a Bluebird box?

I know someone who removes female Brown-Headed Cowbirds from their area. To do so legally requires a permit, like those issued to protect Kirkland's Warbler and others. An increase in nesting species in the area is evident to amateur birders. Because this species has expanded its range due to deforestation, I think that they should be classified as non-native outside of their original range, when they followed the Bison herds. The damage done to songbirds is devastating. I have found Cowbird eggs in Bluebird nests. The problem is worse than most folks realize.

Keep up the good work!
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Old 06-07-2014, 01:32 PM   #74
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My friend told me that even though starlings can't get all the way in a bluebird box they will stick their head in and destroy anything they can reach.
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Old 06-07-2014, 02:50 PM   #75
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Thank you both; we are enjoying having these birds around, plus all the others in the trees.

About the EUST trying to get into the Bluebird box, he couldn't reach in very far and they are not occupied at this time. The occupied boxes are paired up. If it is not the Bluebirds, the Tree Swallows will not tolerate any other bird landing on the boxes. The Starling learned this pretty fast.
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Old 06-08-2014, 09:49 AM   #76
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I have never had Starling problems, even when hosting Martins. We used Starling resistant holes to deter entry. They never seemed to bother my bluebird boxes, but in large numbers, the curious birds could do just about anything.

I work in a building built during the depression. The original windows still slide (top and bottom panels). To prevent the top panel from dropping completely, they have installed aluminum stops on the rails that the windows slide on. A single Starling has learned to "work" the building. He did it last year and came back. He makes the rounds, lifting the 3" aluminum stops, one at a time, quickly. If a spider, or other bug is found - bingo! If not, continue on.

They are in the same family as Mynas and can be taught to talk, but I'm not getting one!
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Old 06-09-2014, 02:08 PM   #77
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You know, I have thought about keeping a Starling as a pet. Just briefly. But then I was afraid I would come to care about them too much. I did feel bad the first one I took out of a trap. It was in full breeding plumage, so really beautiful. I told him/her "I so sorry, but you cause so much trouble for our native birds. "
~~~~~~~~~~
This was funny. I don't know when I started it, but I think I was getting tired of one particular child asking for gum all the time. I would tell him if he wants gum, he needs to shoot a HOSP or EUST before he can have a piece.

He's had little success lately shooting anything, but just a bit ago, he asks for gum. I told him, you know the deal. Whine, whine, they're so hard ... Nope, I do not want to hear it. Within five minutes, he gets one. Ten minutes later, he gets another.
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Old 06-10-2014, 06:51 AM   #78
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They live for up to 20 years! Whistle, shriek, babble and talk unless they are sleeping. Then, they get bored easily, so you have to get them toys. I'd pay big bucks for a parrot!

Speaking of big bucks, if I had a kid to shoot HOSP, I'd go broke in your neighborhood! I'd love to promote a HOSP removal business. If the little entrepreneur got enough business, he might go national! Just what the doctor ordered!
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Old 07-14-2014, 06:21 PM   #79
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I've heard that about some caged birds, they need a lot of interaction. I think it would be more time than we could give right now.

We just dropped off a batch of "raptor food" on Friday. Sometimes I just want to clear all that out of the freezer. We were treated to seeing some young Cooper's Hawks fed with this food. They fell out of a nest. I am so glad we have some place where this is of use.

The empty freezer was short lived. Someone just got himself another piece of gum.
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Old 07-15-2014, 08:21 AM   #80
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That is a new one for me. How great to actually see your hard work going to such a terrific use! I knew that most rehab centers wanted trapped HOSP, in good condition, but never knew someone who got to watch the full circle.

I would bet that pet shops would be happy to take some for folks with snakes and stuff. If they got free HOSP and could charge a buck a piece, everybody wins.

I'd love to find a bunch of resources for unwanted HOSP. Putting them to good use is all that it takes for some people to make the effort.

Thanks and keep up the great work!
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bird, bird house, birdhouse, birds, bluebird house, bluebirds, english, hosp, house, house sparrow, invasive birds, invasive species, managing, sparrow, sparrow spooker, sparrow trap, sparrows, trap, use for raptor rehabilitators

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