Moral dilemma with Starlings

Forums Hunting Moral dilemma with Starlings

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    Cliff_Allen
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    I’ve been shooting PCP’s for a few years now purely for the enjoyment of shooting. I’ve never had a reason to shoot anything living. I don’t take it lightly and the only few times I’ve killed anything was when I was a kid and felt awful about it. I’m not opposed to the population that hunts ethically and eats their prey, and I even enjoy watching hunting videos of the people that I know are ethical about it. However, I don’t hunt for food and I won’t hunt just for the sake of killing for sport so I just don’t hunt. 

    That being said, I put up the bird feeders at my new house for the first time this spring and woke up pleasantly to the sight of several different birds hanging out on the feeders, including a beautiful red Cardinal that I grew rather fond of seeing. Then all *(&^ broke loose as I watched a flock of maybe 50 starlings swoop in chasing off all the other birds, and began devouring all the food in the feeder. I took the LDC off the BSA R-10 and let it bark out the window to scare them off but when I got home from work, all three feeders were COMPLETELY empty and there weren’t any birds in sight. 

    I googled the issue and was amazed at how awful these birds really are, invading the nests of native birds, killing them, destroying crops, bullying other species. I was shocked to see this video of a Starling actually attacking another bird nest and other video’s and reports of how nasty they are. 

    https://youtu.be/00ybRPxIRsg 

    I’ve started to think of them less as birds and more as terrorists and am starting to feel like I would be taking out a “bad guy” that’s just destined to do harm to others. 

    Anyone else ever face this moral dilemma? If I shoot them, it wouldn’t be to eat them, it would be to protect the other nicer, native birds that otherwise have no defense against the starlings. 

    Constructive, rational opinions appreciated. 

    Thank you, 
    Cliff

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    griffwar
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    I shoot starlings at every opportunity I get, there a invasive specious that harm the native birds.

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    Snake-Eyes
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    They are all over our machine shop which is in an industrial park surrounded by farmland so here very soon I will be unleashing a daystate air ranger in .25 on them and they do hassle the other birds and take their nests.

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    LDP
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    “griffwar”I shoot starlings at every opportunity I get, there a invasive specious that harm the native birds.

    
+1. Shoot them every chance you get. They wont go away until you start killing them and they are an invasive species and the reason they have no protection from the feds.

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    TKA87
    Spectator
    Spectator

    Have no fear the Vulcan.25 is here, this gun is a dedicated starling obliterator.

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    iride
    Spectator
    Spectator

    Do not forget about the sparrows, Shoot them every chance you get. Grackles and starlings do not land in my yard,,,
    I live in West Texas and you would not believe  all the pretty song birds coming around and little finch birds,
    Just because I have killed THOUSANDS of sparrows  in the last two years.
    I still have a lot of sparrows but not near as much as I did.
    Mike

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    TKA87
    Spectator
    Spectator

    Sorry I thought My picture wasn’t uploading so I posted the same thing more than once. How do you delete a post? I tried editing it but that doesn’t seem to work 

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    JohnL57
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    Well I mostly leave them alone, but last summer the flock of chickens I was feeding suddenly started eating about 1/3 more feed than they had been and egg production went way down. After some observation I found that a flock of 200 or so starlings were eating all the food, literally crawling over each other to get the feed! Hmm, I have an idea-got 20+ in a couple hours, then 8 the next day, then had my wife put up a scarecrow.  Problem solved! 
    John

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    HauntedMyst
    Participant
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    I say you Cry “Havoc!” and let slip the dogs of war

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    JDShapp
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    I’ve had the same problems as of late Cliff. Starlings are smart. They’ll wait for you to leave before returning to eat their fill so just let them have it.

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    KzooRichie
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    Terrorists make willful choices to harm people.  These birds are just living life Following their natural instinct.

    That being said, thinking about them that way may be useful because nature is improved my eliminating them.  Take um out and songbirds have a better chance.

     

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    Biohazard
    Participant
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    I’ve never had a problem with plugging a starling or grackle. The collective local name for these creatures is perhaps a little vulgar to use here, but suffice to say it references their habit of defecating copiously wherever they please. When the local mulberry trees are fruiting, the “evidence” is everywhere. 
    Red-wing blackbirds are usually safe, but there are years when their population needs to be culled. The only birds that are off my radar are robins and cardinals.

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    Cliff_Allen
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    “TKA87”Have no fear the Vulcan.25 is here, this gun is a dedicated starling obliterator.

    
That’s a heck of a nice looking setup. The more I see the Vulcan and hear of it’s abilities, the more I want to try one.

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    Cliff_Allen
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    “HauntedMyst”I say you Cry “Havoc!” and let slip the dogs of war

    
haha, nicely quoted! That gave my wife and I both a good chuckle!

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    Cliff_Allen
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    “JohnL57”Well I mostly leave them alone, but last summer the flock of chickens I was feeding suddenly started eating about 1/3 more feed than they had been and egg production went way down. After some observation I found that a flock of 200 or so starlings were eating all the food, literally crawling over each other to get the feed! Hmm, I have an idea-got 20+ in a couple hours, then 8 the next day, then had my wife put up a scarecrow.  Problem solved! 
    John

    
Hmmm scarecrow, wouldn’t that serve to scare the other birds also?

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    bhbeyes
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    TKA87
    Spectator
    Spectator

    Yeah Cliff this seems to be a moral dilemma but if the species is invasive than by all means take them down to China town!!! Yeah my Vulcan.25 is pretty awesome it’s a well rounded gun especially when you want take long range shots, mine turned out to be deadly accurate right out of the box. 

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    1kshooter
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    I dont like to kill for the sake of killing either but as you have started to notice any serious time spent observing song birds and you will soon see how devistating these invasive birds really are I have no ill thoughts when pulling the trigger but do try by very best to make it a humane dispatch ….22 independence with 18.13gr JSB’s make quick work of that!
    Jonathan

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    WCT_Editor
    Participant
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    I understand exactly what you’re going through. One of the toughest parts of my job is dispatching animals due to state laws and not being able to utilize most of them. Outside of work I’m a meat hunter and avid fur trapper so more than one animal has met it’s end due to my actions, but when you can’t use the animal for anything it is a different mindset. Despite what seems to be shown in movies and the “reported” news, not everyone is capable of pulling the trigger and ending the life of an animal and there is nothing wrong with that. In fact, imagine what the world would be like if everyone shot/killed everything that they didn’t like.

    On situations like this, if you’re not comfortable resolving it yourself (again, there’s nothing wrong with that for those who have a moral objection to the act) you have three options. First, see if there is any other harassment/repellent/habitat modification method that can be used to resolve the problem. Second, hire someone who is comfortable resolving the problem or third, just deal with it.

    When dealing with European starlings, there isn’t much that can be done in terms of harassment/repellents/habitat modification that won’t affect the other bird species as well. About all you could do is remove the bird feed for several days and continue shooting into the air at random times to disperse the flock. With the food source removed and the shooting causing them to lose their feeling of safety, they should leave the area relatively quickly. If you don’t want to remove the bird food, you can try using a different type. I see more issues at this time of year with suet feeders, specifically when the ground isn’t exposed, with livestock feed coming in a close second. Birds beaks tell the story of what they eat, so you can try and limit food items they are looking for just by doing some simple research.

    If neither of these options are acceptable, then the only other solutions are to ignore them or begin the culling process. In some cases, very few starlings need to be shot before results are seen while in other cases, you can shoot all day and never see an end to the problem. I’m surprised that no one has said it yet, but the number one problem I deal with starlings on is nesting inside of bathroom vents and dryer vents. This can lead to bird mites, odor issues, fire hazards as well as potential diseases such as histoplasmosis. After you’ve dug rotting nesting material, decomposing birds, eggs and chicks out of bathroom vents two and three stories up while working from a ladder or jury rigged to a roof year after year, you don’t feel as bad when you need to do some shooting compared to other animals.

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    jland48
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    Yes sir, starlings are terrorists. My experience with them is in the way they fill up martin houses and make it impossible for them to nest. I kill junk birds,starlings included. I know of several good cats that love rats and birds and the way I figure it is they gotta eat too!!

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