Thursday, December 31, 2009

Those Damn Starlings!

Last spring I had to take down my bird feeder because it was overrun and devastated by Starlings daily. I wasn't particularly upset as it was spring and there would be lots of seed and insects and other goodies for the birdies around my home to feed on. And, silly me, I just assumed the Starlings would go away again when fall/winter came.

The feeder went back up last week and five beeeeeautiful red Cardinal males and four gorgeous tan & red females found their way back and began to entertain me. Aaaahhhh.... I love watching them! And there was a bright blue Blue Jay and a Red Bellied Woodpecker (who's red, incidentall, is actually found on the head - go figure) and a couple of others I haven't identified as yet. My bird feeder was hoppin' and my delight in my feather'd friends growin'!

Today as I strolled into the breakfast nook with it's windows overlooking our deck I was beseiged - YES! BESEIGED! - by a deck, tree & feeder entirely overrun by Starlings. I kid you not - it was like a scene from Hitchcock's "The Birds." Eeewwwww!!! It was awful!! They scattered but not too far. Here you can see the sitting in the trees just across the small ravine, queing up for their next attack.

Look hard - all those little dots in the trees are the Starlings - and this is just one shot of the trees behind my house! I wish a had a way to scare off the Starlings that wouldn't affect my darlings!!

And while we are at it, let's talk about the squirrels. Last winter there were so many hickory nuts on my deck you could not walk across it. I am totally serious. To try to cross the deck without sweeping or kicking clear a path would mean twisting an ankle at the very least. This year the tree is practically barren and so is my porch. The squirrels are not coming to feast. I miss the little guy that had a special spot on the railing where he dropped all the hickory shells. It was messy but he was so cute.
If you look hard you can see three litte black hickory nuts. Not much for a squirrel family to live on....
So, thanks to my old friend Shelli, I found out about providing dried corn on the cob for the squirrels. This one has been hanging in my tree for several days now and I have not seen a single squirrel. Krissy says it has teeth marks and that the peanut butter she spread on it is gone, but I am not sure that means a squirrel came a'callin' - probably just another Starling trick!


  1. Had a clutch of quail come calling, actually several collided with the front window. One even managed to hang on to the window ledge for a moment as there really is not much of a ledge to hold onto. Doves are also another mass gathering in our backyard. They don't sing much during the winter though. Yes, I also get those meddling starlings, especially if I have suet in the feeder. Magpies, woodpeckers and scrub jay are also frequent guests. I enjoy them all except I do miss the summer songbirds outside my window. I wish we had squirrels, the dogs need something to torment them besides the neighbors cat on the fence.

  2. I miss Quail. A lot. You have now convinced me to NOT put out suet...

    I miss Magpies, too. Who knew? I always thought they were so pretty when I first saw them.

  3. I enjoy bird watching too! Our bird feeder has been put away as well since we didn't like the gifts all the birds had left on our swing, deck, etc. after they feasted. You are making me feel quilty now that they may be starving! We will have to put it back out!

  4. Luckily, our tree branches can be reached from the deck but the feeder still hangs out over the yard. It's the perfect set up. We do get some seed on the deck but not so much the other type of "gifts" birds are known for leaving.