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Hillsdale, New York
Local food/farms
17 February 2015 09:08AM
Laura Shea-2

Starlings are the worst.

And they are absolutely EVERYWHERE these days.

They are eating more of the chicken feed than the chickens, whatever pig feed might be left in the troughs, and we are finding starling poop on surfaces that defy the laws of gravity and logic.

(PHOTO #1: How do you poop on a wall?? I mean, HOW?!?!

A chicken coop isn’t the cleanest place in the world on the best of days. Since The Great Starling Invasion of 2015, however, the coop is but one of many spots on the farm that have been befouled by starling stool.

The chicken waterer, for example, was decorated like some horrible metal cake at feeding time tonight.

(PHOTO #2: Fire the pastry chef.)

When I went in the coop tonight to check for eggs and to see how the chickens were doing on food and water, at least 20 starlings were nestled in the corners.

Side by side with the hens.

They’re not even TRYING to be sneaky.

Anything you read about starlings in New York, or the United States in general, will tell you that they tend to compete for habitat with native birds and are considered to be an invasive species.

I am here to report that truer words have never been printed.

These pointy-beaked, omnivorous, Super-Shitters are wiping us out of bird feed daily and all they offer in return is to make it look like Jackson Pollack visited the farm and tried out bird crap as his medium.

(PHOTO #3: Abstract Expressionism?)

So, what can we do about it?

The answer, as far as we can tell, is NOTHING.

Dave tried to fashion a Starling Blockade of sorts by hanging chicken wire from the top of the coop entrance and attaching sticky-outty wires to the sides.

Mostly, the starlings just flew around or under it and then got trapped INSIDE when we’d show up and scare them.

So, one might be led to wonder WHAT ON EARTH IS THE POINT?! of an invasive bird species which does no good, only creates havoc, and provides nothing of value.

I know I did.

And then, driving home one day, I saw a murmuration. I didn’t realize that these were specific to starlings, nor did I understand how or why they happened.

If you’ve never seen a murmuration, I urge you to watch the video.

If you’ve seen many murmurations, I won’t need to urge you to watch; you’ll already have done so.

So, because of this extraordinarily beautiful and magical thing these rotten jerks can do, I reckon we’ll continue to put up with them and their shitty ways.

(PHOTO #4: I am an asshole.)

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