The Starling – A Bird that it’s Okay to Hate


European Starling “Sturnus Vulgaris”

Every Spring when the birds begin to revitalize following several weeks or even months of old man Winter, it never fails that at least one will attempt to domicile in the area next to my window air-conditioning unit. As my desk sits next to that window, I have to bang on the accordion side-panel of the unit with my flashlight to ward them off. Until this year!

The usual flashlight banging technique worked as usual for the first couple of aviary home-seekers this season, but I was then dumbfounded to find a new species of bird, louder, stranger-sounding, and extremely stubborn settling in. After a few days, it was clear that the new nest-builders were doing some “family planning” and before long, the unmistakable sound of shrill, high-pitched cheeps started coming from the area merely 2 feet from my left ear. As time went on, I became more and more agitated by this commotion, and eventually broke my flashlight.

Having observed the mother flying to and fro, from the neighbor’s yard and back to the nest for the next round of perpetual feeding, I took note of the characteristics of the bird. From the appearance, I was able to ascertain that the obnoxious birds are Starlings.

Googling “starlings”, I found much information on these birds and discovered that they are, in fact, generally disliked by just about everyone on the planet. They’re aggressive, intrusive, drive other birds out of their nests, and as I found out early on, extremely stubborn and even defiant.

Though I’m not a member of the Audubon Society and never had anything at all against birds in general, these Starlings have inflamed my last nerve. Google also states that the typical amount of time to elapse from being newly hatched to when they become independent and leave the nest is about 3 weeks. Unfortunately, these obstinate birds may produce 2 or 3 broods in a season.

After attempting to reach the area next to the window from the outside (it’s about 15 feet off the ground), I found it futile without the use of a ladder, which I don’t have access to.

Therefore, I put in a call to my landlord, who is currently on a job in Evansville, to send in one of his helpers with a ladder to not only remove these creatures of perpetual irritation but to seal the outside gap between the AC unit and the plywood they have covering the external area of the window.

I pray help arrives soon because if I feel compelled to resort to the Axl Rose method of exterminating pesky critters, I’ll probably end up with charges filed against me, not to mention a large, gaping shotgun hole in the side of my apartment.

LIke most of us, we find most birds adorable even though we may not all be aviary aficionados. But, it IS okay to hate the Starling!

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