Author Topic: Wild Starlings - Questions for the rehabbers out there  (Read 2958 times)

Offline Eluin Gentry

  • Posts Too Much!
  • *****
  • Posts: 1695
  • Northern Michigan Rat Rescue Adoption Coordinator
Wild Starlings - Questions for the rehabbers out there
« on: April 12, 2010, 09:46:05 PM »
This afternoon my boyfriend's brother started shooting all of the starlings around the house we all live in. I was really upset, but could not find a way to stop him. Now I am concerned that he might be leaving orphans out there. How early do starlings lay eggs in the northern states? We just got our last snowfall on Thursday, enough to cover the ground until midday Friday. I am hoping it has been too cold and there are no birds eggs, just the beginnings of nests. If I do find eggs, what are the chances of my being able to save them? I am a rehabber in training, but I have never had babies yet. My work schedule will not allow it. As soon as I get that sorted out, I am hoping to be able to start rehabbing squirrels and possums. I had not planned on working with birds and I haven't been able to study them as much as I have some of the furry orphans I was planning on getting.


Offline bit-bit

  • Posts Too Much!
  • *****
  • Posts: 3334
  • I'm tough as glass and clean as night.
Re: Wild Starlings - Questions for the rehabbers out there
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2010, 10:05:25 PM »
Starlings are introduced and are considered a nuisance species in much of the US.  Most rehab groups won't work with them, just like they won't work with pigeons.  It may even be illegal to hand-raise and release them in your area.

Starlings start laying in early spring and can raise several broods a season, so it's possible there are eggs out there, but likely not chicks yet.  But, even if there are eggs, you're unlikely to find them or to know whether the ones you find are orphaned or their parent has just been scared off by you looking.  They nest in cavities, especially in houses and other buildings, so the nests are well-hidden.

As hard as it can be for an animal lover, I'd probably leave this one alone.

Offline Eluin Gentry

  • Posts Too Much!
  • *****
  • Posts: 1695
  • Northern Michigan Rat Rescue Adoption Coordinator
Re: Wild Starlings - Questions for the rehabbers out there
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2010, 04:11:28 PM »
Thank you for the response. I have requested that he only shoot the birds when I am not home because I find it really really upsetting. He is not even willing to do that. I don't know what more I can do to compromise on the issue. I just hate seeing people kill animals for no reason other than that we want to occupy the same space. I know he is going to keep doing it into baby bird season and I'm going to be fretting every time I hear that gun go off. Does anyone have any ideas on other ways I can try to compromise with this man?



Offline bit-bit

  • Posts Too Much!
  • *****
  • Posts: 3334
  • I'm tough as glass and clean as night.
Re: Wild Starlings - Questions for the rehabbers out there
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2010, 04:43:40 PM »
Why is he shooting them?  Are they harming something like crops, or just annoying him?  Most places, it's illegal to shoot a gun within a certain distance of a house, but if you're in a rural area, it may be perfectly legal for him to do it.  Even so, it's really disrespectful if he knows how much it upsets you.  I'd try talking with him more if you can, but I still think looking for the orphaned chicks would be a fruitless venture.

Offline nancycccslp

  • Donor
  • Posts Too Much!
  • *
  • Posts: 4660
  • Mr.Whisper, Teddy Ratsevelt; my first rat friends
Re: Wild Starlings - Questions for the rehabbers out there
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2010, 05:18:48 PM »
Shooting them is fruitless.  More will just move into the space he's made available with his shooting.....  So since there's no "win" there, it's just cruel to do it.  I don't love starlings, but I don't like cruelty of any kind.  Starlings can't choose to be here, but your "brother in law" is CHOOSING to be cruel.....
I miss you and love you Teddy Ratsevelt and Benny.  Thank you for being my heart rats.

It's not the size of the pet in your life, it's the size of the life in your pet

Offline Eluin Gentry

  • Posts Too Much!
  • *****
  • Posts: 1695
  • Northern Michigan Rat Rescue Adoption Coordinator
Re: Wild Starlings - Questions for the rehabbers out there
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2010, 06:12:41 PM »
Shooting them is fruitless.  More will just move into the space he's made available with his shooting.....  So since there's no "win" there, it's just cruel to do it.  I don't love starlings, but I don't like cruelty of any kind.  Starlings can't choose to be here, but your "brother in law" is CHOOSING to be cruel.....

I asked him again today not to shoot birds while I was around. He says that "This is the way it has been done around this house for years." He doesn't seem to understand that he is not making anything better. Today he came upstairs and told me that he wanted to get an angle on the ones on the house. My boyfriend and I are going to have to talk if anyone is pointing a gun at my home.