>You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out

>click for photo

We enjoy having the little Sparrows hanging around the back yard. Some of them are surprisingly colorful.
We hung some birdhouses on the Chicken Coop so we can watch them nest. Recently the Starlings have started terrorizing the Sparrows. They like to reach into the birdhouses and pull out all the nesting material that the sparrows have gathered. I stapled some chickenwire over the houses, thinking that would solve the problem. The sparrows can squeeze through but the starlings can’t. You can see the sparrows in the top photo.

Today I saw that one of the big birds was able to reach through the wire and get his head all the way inside the nest.
Dangit!

First let me explain that Starlings are such pests that even the Idaho Birdwatchers Club members hate them. They steal the nests of The Mountain Bluebird which is the Idaho State Bird. Some people go to great lengths and expense to try to encourage the survival of the very beautiful Bluebird. I have only seen a couple since we’ve lived here but they are quite striking.

click for photo
I decided to take direct action against the Evil Starlings… If I caught them harassing the sparrows, I was going to shoot them with the air rifle.
First I had to make sure it was sighted in. I figured 2 pumps would be enough for the distance. I stood inside and shot through a crack in the door at a mark on the shed. Imagine my surprise when the BB bounced back and hit the house.
What the Heck!
I’m lucky I didn’t break one of my windows.
I know… “I’ll try a soft lead pellet, it won’t richochet as much”.
Wrong.

I dodged the bullet (pellet) again, when it also bounced back and hit the house.
Dude, you better be careful or you’re going to making an expensive trip to the Window Store.

For my final attempt I decided to use another BB and to shoot at the relatively soft, pine bird house.
You can see the BB embedded next to the hole.

UPDATE: FYI, I didn’t have to shoot any Starlings.

The Sparrows made nests in two of the birdhouses and have actually hatched some babies.

I guess the chickenwire worked after all.

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About Retired Geezer

Just another Old Retired Geezer in the Spud State.

Posted on April 17, 2007, in Wildlife. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. >An air rifle! I’ve got one too – a Crossman 66 Powermaster. My Dad gave it to me when they moved out here. He used to use it to scare off some damn critter down in Florida. I haven’t used it yet. I oughta go off into the desert and plink some cans.

  2. >You only have to worry about ricochet if you miss Geez. I have a Crossman 760 myself. It’s good for Bluejays, Chimpmunks, and the neighbor kids.

  3. >I can just imagine the conversation;Parent: “How did you get that welt on your arm”.”I was teasing the neighbor’s dog and a bee stung me.””We need to sue the city for allowing dangerous insects to roam freely”.

  4. >Starlings are survivors. Messy, noisy, thieving survivors, but survivors, nonetheless. Which tells you something about the way the world is going. The cockroaches, rats, starlings and gulls will someday rule the world.

  5. >The cockroaches, rats, starlings and gulls will someday rule the world.You left out Spudders.At least I *think* you did.;-)

  6. >at least it wasn’t blue jays. They’re mean.

  7. >One bird that I miss hearing up here in the Spud State is a Mockingbird. We had quite a few in Vegas. Those things are pretty brave. I’ve seen them dive-bombing cats.Yesterday I saw one of the Robins doing the same thing to Spudder. I guess they must have a nest nearby.

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