Millions of pest birds

Invasive birds cause nuisance. It will likely get worse.

Bird invasion brings real-life horror to Kentucky city | Reuters.

The blackbirds and European starlings blacken the sky of Hopkinsville, Kentucky, before roosting at dusk, turn the landscape white with bird poop, and the disease they carry can kill a dog and sicken humans.

“I have seen them come in, and there are enough that if the sun is just right, they’ll cloud your vision of the sun,” said Hopkinsville-Christian County historian William Turner. “I estimate there are millions of them.”

David Chiles, president of the Little River Audubon Society, said the fact that migratory flocks are roosting in the city rather than flying further south is tied to climate warming.

The birds are a health and pollution problem. Their droppings can carry a fungal disease called histoplasmosis, which can cause lung infections and symptoms similar to pneumonia. Besides that, they are unsightly, disturbing, aggressive and eat the food intended for native birds.

Every year, there are stories of flocks of starlings and blackbirds that suddenly die or are killed en masse. With local farmers poisoning and harassing the birds to get rid of them, be aware that more of these stories will surface. With a boom, comes a bust.

A flock of starlings in California

A flock of starlings in California


  1 comment for “Millions of pest birds

  1. RDW
    February 21, 2013 at 4:37 PM

    Starlings are real nuisances, and displace desirable native species, like Bluebirds and Woodpeckers. It’s a shame they can’t be sterilized, some how.

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