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My Apologies for the Light Posting

Quarterly meeting today, and this evening is bird eviction. We’ve had a Starling nest in the side of the house. They are fully mature at this point, and upon opening exterior a bit to be able to reach in there, one of the juveniles flew out, and appears to be capable of full flight. I’m giving the mother a chance to fledge the rest of them. I stuck a camera up there the other night, and all the fledges have full flight feathers. Time to go! They have gone well over their standard 21 day nesting period, and the contractor is scheduled to come tomorrow to patch the hole, so I don’t have much choice other than to be the ruthless landlord. Starlings are a nasty invasive species that displaces native bird populations, so I don’t honestly feel too sorry if mama Starling feels like her fledges need a few more days. It’s eviction day. The landlord has spoken.

8 Responses to “My Apologies for the Light Posting”

  1. beatbox says:

    They are Starlings? I would have taken them out immediately. It is perfectly legal.

    • Sebastian says:

      I tried when they first moved in, but I have a rickety ladder, and I had some difficulty with the height and the wobbliness of the ladder. I didn’t feel sturdy enough up there to operate power tools.

      The mason set up scaffolding a few days ago for the job. I had to sit up there a few minutes before I started to feel my balance. I’m not as good at heights as I was when I was a kid.

      They all flew out on their own when I opened up the wall the nest was in. A few of them needed some encouragement. But they all flew fully.

  2. Starling hackle (chest feathers) makes some very nice (fishing) flies. Just saying…

  3. Andy B. says:

    Starlings don’t seem anywhere near as plentiful as when I was a kid, so they don’t excite me so much anymore. I guess if they were in my wall they would. Plus, I had a pet starling when I was in my teens, and he was a cute pet (I have a framed picture of my late parents feeding him as he sits on my father’s finger) so I have a hard time working up deep hostility for them, bird crap on my freshly washed car notwithstanding.

    • Sebastian says:

      I learned in my research on them that they can talk. That would have been interesting. I had parakeets as a kid, but they never said a word, even though they are capable of mimicry. But I’m not all that interested in trying to tame a wild bird. The fledges should do as well as any others, given how well they flew. But I’m guessing they normally don’t leave the nest under such harried conditions as someone ripping the planing out of the side of the nest.

      Once the nesting pair realized the chicks were all out, they seemed less annoyed at me, so I’m guessing they are proceeding with their rearing during the fledging stage. A few days of that and they should be fully independent juvenile birds.

      • Andy B. says:

        The pet one I had, I found when it fell from the nest in the pre-fledgling stage. We fed it canned dog food (same as our dogs) and it thrived on it. It didn’t learn to talk, but made many strange mimicking noises. We let if fly outside and it just hung around and kept coming back to us. The odd thing was that wild starlings didn’t want to have anything to do with it. Maybe it didn’t speak the language or something. Along with the standard dogs and cats and chickens, we had two crows, a squirrel, fish and snapping turtles, and a raccoon at different times, plus ranched mink, which were a big money loser.

        I wouldn’t be inclined to have any of them now (plus, the wild animals would be illegal without a permit) but they were a great experience for a kid.

        • Sebastian says:

          I’ve heard Mink are fairly vicious creatures. There’s a story I’ve heard, don’t know if it’s true, of animal rights nuts releasing minks from a farm in the UK, which proceeded to wreak havoc on suburban fauna, including domesticated pets. Unintended consequences.

  4. Sebastian says:

    Once I put my camera in there yesterday, I became concerned about how deep they were in the wall. They were a good foot down in the cavity. Starlings will normally fledge from the nest as soon as they are feathered, but these looked like juvenile birds that should be capable of full flight.

    I was wondering if maybe the nest, which was just resting on some fiberglass, sunk a good but under the weight of 5 fledglings, that were having difficulty making it to the top of the nest in a confined space.

    Either way, when I opened the wall up a bit, one flew out. A bit more another flew out without much encouragement, and the rest flew out as soon as I started to pick them up. All but one made a pretty good powered flight away from the nest. The other landed in a neighbors yard after flying a bit wobbly. Could also be she was waiting for that one to strengthen up a bit on the flight muscles.

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