Birds of Indian Subcontinent

Ineffectiveness of Five Commercial Deterrents for Nesting Starlings

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1998
Authors:Belant, JL, Woronecki, PP, Dolbeer, RA, Seamans, TW
Journal:Wildlife Society Bulletin
Date Published:1998
ISBN Number:00917648
Keywords:Bubo, Bubo virginianus, Falco, Falco columbarius, Falconidae, Hirundinidae, Hirundo, Hirundo rustica, Passer, Passer domesticus, Passeridae, Sialia, Sialia sialis, Strigidae, Sturnidae, Sturnus, Sturnus vulgaris, Tachycineta, Tachycineta bicolor, Troglodytes, Troglodytes aedon, Troglodytes troglodytes, Troglodytidae, Turdidae
Abstract:We evaluated the effectiveness of phenethyl alcohol (PEA), eyespots, magnetic fields, and avian-predator effigies to deter European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) from nesting in artificial cavities in Ohio during 1993, 1995, and 1996. Each year, 81 nest boxes attached to utility poles were assigned at random equally among 3 treatments (including control): 1993-PEA or eyespots, 1995-magnetic fields of 88 or 118 gauss, and 1996-great horned owl or merlin effigy. Starlings nested in 84% (1993), 58% (1995), and 90% (1996) of the boxes. There was no difference (P ≥ 0.13) among treatments each year in 6-7 measures of starling nesting activity. Four species other than starlings (eastern bluebirds [Sialia sialis], house wrens [Troglodytes aedon], tree swallows [Tachycineta bicolor], and house sparrows [Passer domesticus]) occupied 13 (1993), 23 (1995), and 2 (1996) nest boxes. We conclude that PEA, eyespots, magnetic fields ≤118 gauss, and avian-predator effigies are ineffective as deterrents for starlings nesting in artificial cavities.
Short Title:Wildlife Society Bulletin
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith