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Birds

BIOLOGY OF COMMON NUISANCE BIRDS:



STARLINGS:

Starlings are disliked in urbanized areas because of their raucous vocalizations made at roosting time and because of the filth they leave behind. Starlings also create problems by nesting on or inside buildings. They utilize a multitude of nesting sites, including building ledges, lighted signs, marquees, billboard bracing, hollow lamp posts, soffits, as well as dryer and stove exhaust ducts and vents. Thousands of starlings may invade a city at dusk and roost side by side, forming solid rows of birds. These birds are known to transmit diseases such as encephalitis, ornithosis, and histoplasmosis.

Starlings, in addition to consuming large amounts of poultry, hog, and cattle feed, are implicated in the spread of diseases of livestock via fecal contamination.

Starling damage done to buildings and trees


SPARROW:



House sparrow nest, comprised of twigs, grass, paper, and string, are built in gutters, vents, soffits, lamp poles, on rafters, building ledges, and almost any other conceivable elevated, sheltered spot. They frequently build their unsightly nests inside warehouses, airport hangers, and under stadium roofs and awnings. In addition to their messy nests and the contamination and defacement caused by droppings, sparrow damage rigid foam board and other soft insulation in warehouses and in poultry and hog-raising facilities. In electrical substations, their nests have been known to cause short circuits and fires. Their nesting, roosting, and feeding activities may all contribute to the sparrow’s pest status. Sparrows are implicated in the transmission of more than 25 diseases to humans and domestic animals including psittacosis, salmonellosis, and several forms of encephalitis.

PIGEON:


Pigeons adapt well to man-made environments and is the most troublesome bird pest in urban areas, as well as small rural communities. The abundance of shelter provided by the design of many buildings assures that pigeons will have ample places to roost, loaf, and nest.

Pigeon droppings deface and accelerate deterioration of statues, buildings, and equipment and foul areas where people may walk or work. Pigeon droppings and nests clog gutter down spots and air intakes, mar windowsills, and render fire escapes hazardous. Their droppings and feathers can contaminate large quantities of livestock feed and food destined for human consumption. The serious and constant public health problems they create are unmatched by any other bird species.







Top Left: damage to outdoor equipment
Top Right: pigeons roosting on the roof of a home
Left: pigeons nest in window sill







WOOD PECKER:

Certain species of woodpecker and flickers cause damage to wooden structures by their pecking or drilling of holes. The drumming of a woodpecker on the woodwork or gutter of a residence, in and of itself, is a major annoyance to a great many people. Drumming is the term given to the noise made by woodpeckers pecking in rapid rhythmic succession onwood. This is a springtime activity of males proclaiming their territories. Drumming may occur a number of times during a single day, and the activity may go on for some time.

Damage to wooden buildings may take one of several forms. Holes may be drilled into wooden siding, fascia boards, or window castings and, if the accessible cavity is suitable, may be used as a nesting site. Woodpecker damage to utility poles can be severe and widespread, necessitating frequent replacement. Contrary to common belief that only insect-infested wood is damaged, some species of woodpeckers readily peck holes in sound wooden fence posts, utility poles, and in wood siding of homes and outbuildings.

Sapsuckers do not damage buildings or wooden structures, but they are responsible for rows of holes pecked into back of healthy trees. Where this occurs to trees in landscaped areas, it becoems of concern to the property owner.







Top Left: sapsucker damage
Top Right: woodpecker damage to an overhang above a deck
Left: woodpecker nest