Those of you who visit here regularly know how we love to feed the birds. We currently have six feeders out back (including a suet feeder) and a suet feeder in the front yard. We've been lucky to get a good variety of songbirds, woodpeckers, and ground feeders, even the occasional squirrel. Unfortunately, our feeders have attracted a less welcome variety of birds, whom I have dubbed "pigs with wings." Actually, this is an insult to pigs everywhere because pigs can be really cute.
Who could read "Charlotte's Web" and not think pigs are cute, am I right? ;D
These "pigs with wings" are NOT cute. You're probably familiar with this greedy pest -- the Starling. Ugh. They descend on our feeders in hoards; they fight with each other and chase the other birds away. And they can clean out our bark butter in no time flat. They've been at our feeders off and on for most of the day, and I'm just trying not to look at them because looking at them just makes me angry. 😠
According to this site, Starlings are not native to the U.S. They were introduced here in 1890, released into the streets of New York City by a group called the American Acclimatization Society, who sought to "populate the United States with familiar European species." They just wanted to bring species they thought would be "useful" and "interesting" to Americans. Perhaps this was the same group who thought that importing kudzu vines to the United States from Japan was a brilliant idea?
Kudzu, the bane of the South. After seeing this photo of kudzu overtaking an old school bus, a local farmer remarked that someone must have parked it there overnight. This was said only half-jokingly, I'm sure. Starlings are like kudzu, invasive, aggressive, almost impossible to get rid of, and seemingly everywhere.
I used to think squirrels at the bird feeders were a major nuisance, but I've come to realize the starlings are much worse. At least I can usually manage to chase a squirrel off when it starts messing with a bird feeder -- not so the starlings. I'm leery of chasing them for fear it might turn out like a scene from "The Birds" with them attacking me and pecking my eyes out or something.
Well, that's it for today's venting session. Do you have starlings in your area and do they bother your bird feeders? I really appreciate your visit and hope you have a great day!