Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Startling starling numbers appear in bird count

Startling starling numbers appear in bird count

AUDUBON: Invasive species has spread since its U.S. arrival in 1890s.

By GEORGE BRYSON
Anchorage Daily News

Published: December 27, 2005
Last Modified: December 27, 2005 at 03:04 AM

Look out, Anchorage woodpeckers. The starlings are coming -- and they just might be admiring your homes.

Local birders who participated in the recent 2005 Anchorage Christmas Bird Count noted a sharp increase in European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris), a sometimes aggressive species that's relatively new to Alaska.

Only three starlings were spotted in town a decade ago during the 1995 Christmas bird count, according to the local chapter of the National Audubon Society, which sponsors the annual survey.

Last year, there were 35. But observers who joined the Dec. 17 count found 156 European starlings, almost four times the old record.

Here's the rest of the story.

2 comments:

Duncan said...

Starlings are bad news, over here they will even displace ducks from nesting boxes, swamping them with grass and other nesting materials until the ducks just give up and leave. Get on top of them quickly if you can.

Lori said...

Agh! When I was going to school in Lexington, KY, I remember the masssive starling invasions of fall. My roommate was attacked walking home from work (she apparently had something in her hair and walked under a tree covered in starlings, bad news). That year, it was so bad that the city actually started blasting trees with sound in order to disperse the starlings, who were starving. Hopefully we can control them here before anyone has to take such awful measure.