Starlings have become one of Canada’s most common birds. Male and female starlings look similar. Both are glossy black with purplish and greenish iridescence on the head, back and breast.
The European Starling has spread quickly through much of Canada and is still expanding in range. Currently it breeds across the U.S. and southern Canada, as well as in southern Yukon and the Northwest Territories, and in northern British Columbia and Alberta. There are isolated breeding pockets in the eastern parts of the country.
Southern Ontario is a winter starling hub. According to Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count data, over 255,000 starlings winter in the Golden Horseshoe area, about half of Canada’s total wintering starling number. Since about two-thirds of Ontario’s starlings migrate to warmer U.S. states during the coldest months, the winter figures represent just a small fraction of the total Ontario breeding population.
The problems Starling present to home and businesses
Starlings are adept at exploiting urban, suburban and agricultural settings. They are one of only a few birds that tolerate areas of high humane density and disturbance.
Pest birds cost individuals & businesses millions of dollars each year in clean-up expenses, repairs, and damaged equipment.
The corrosive effects of bird droppings can cause irreversible damage – defacing rooftops, walkways, walls, vehicles, and equipment.
When starlings or grackles are in their flocking phase, thousands of these pest birds can literally overwhelm trees or buildings in an area. Typical starling or grackle problems are large scale buildup of their sprayed feces (a whitewash look) which can lead to structural damage, as the uric acid in the pest bird droppings can corrode stone, metal and masonry. Machinery and drainage problems occur from starling nesting materials and bird droppings. In addition, the bacteria, fungal agents and ectoparasites found in starling droppings and nesting materials are responsible for a host of serious diseases, including histoplasmosis, encephalitis, salmonella, meningitis, toxoplasmosis and more. Feces from starlings’ flocks can lead to structural damage.
The biggest issue with starlings in urban and suburban areas has to do with their nesting habits. Starling nests built into any house cavity and can accumulate material that is unsightly and could represent a fire hazard. Starlings do not remove material from old nests but keep adding year after year to what is there.Starlings are also known to get stuck in chimneys and metal flues.
Birds are known to carry over 60 transmissible diseases – some potentially fatal. Bird droppings help to spread disease when fecal dust enters living areas or when someone enters contaminated spaces and starts breathing in fungal spores.
How to protect your home or business from starlings
The key to successfully managing problems with these birds is to stop the starling problem before it becomes a major challenge.
Openings larger than 1 inch must be closed off on buildings and other structures. Netting and hardware-cloth are two ways of closing off cavities in buildings. Eliminate food and water sources.
- Galvanized Steel Screening – used to prevent birds from accessing roof and wall vents. Starlings and sparrows easily gain access to unprotected vents. Screening a home’s venting structures prevents birds from nesting while allowing for proper air flow. Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control’s screening won’t rust and stain your home.
- Wildlife Exclusion Sealant – applied to cracks and crevices to exclude smaller birds from entering attics and soffits. Large gaps between stone exteriors and soffit overhangs provide sparrows with ideal nesting sites. Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control has worked closely with manufacturers to develop a silicone based sealant that keeps birds out and stands up to severe weather.
- Bird Netting – stops birds from roosting beneath awnings and overhangs. Pigeons, starlings and sparrows will flock below building overhangs in search of shelter. Professionally installed bird netting systems deny access and can be installed in any architectural configuration. Netting provides lasting protection from droppings in a discreet fashion.
- Bird Spikes – prevents birds from roosting on ledges, eavestroughs, beams, chimneys and much more. Bird spikes conspicuously and humanely eliminate roosting locations.
- Bird Wire – a taught wire installed along any flat surface to prevent birds from landing. This product is makes flat surfaces uncomfortable for birds to land on. Discreet design won’t compromise architectural aesthetics
Dealing with birds is messy business. If there is an accumulation of bird droppings in chimney, attic or storage shed, it’s best to call in a professional who has the equipment necessary for safely removing the droppings.
Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control suggests you leave the birds and cleanup to us.
Call us to find out how we can remove the birds and clean up their mess, so your home, business, family and pets are safe! 1-888-592-0387.
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