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Eviction?

Cardinal

Cyburbian
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34
I have been keeping an eye on one of my maples, lately. There are many hollow spots in this old tree, that would be a great place for a bird to make a nest. I'm not much interested in it for myself (Cardinals prefer to nest in thick bushes) but I am interested to see who my neighbors may be. This morning a red-bellied woodpecker flew to the tree-hole. Great! I thought. These are fun birds, and they would fit in nicely with the downy woodpeckers in the bur oak next door. Just then, though, another bird stuck its head out of the hole. A starling. One of "those birds." I can just picture the neighborhood property values plummeting. If I harass them now, they will likely move on to another place, leaving this nice, comfy hole to some other birds. On the other hand, my Planner's Code of Ethics requires me to promote diversity. What does The Throbbing Brain™ think I should do?

Here's the hole

11treehole.jpg

I forgot to add a poll.
 

Wannaplan?

Bounty Hunter
Messages
3,217
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29
Cardinal said:
On the other hand, my Planner's Code of Ethics requires me to promote diversity. What does The Throbbing Brain™ think I should do?
Before a decision is made, rational policy always begins with a baseline measure. Do you already know how diverse your neck of the woods is? Have you used the Shannon-Weiner Diversity Index to make that determination? If you need further assistance, perhaps you should consult with the Throbbing Brain™ at the Northern Michigan Birding website message board. Yes, they are Michigan-centric, but I am sure they will welcome a friend from Wisconsin. They will love you!

Cardinal said:
I forgot to add a poll.
A Common Redpoll?! :-D Har har!
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
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Wanigas? said:
Before a decision is made, rational policy always begins with a baseline measure. Do you already know how diverse your neck of the woods is?
Here is a list of the birds I have seen in my yard. One asterisk means I have found them nesting in the yard. Two asterisks means I have held them in my hands. (The oriole was my favorite.)

1. Brown-Headed Cowbird *
2. Eastern Starling *
3. Red-Winged Blackbird
4. Yellow-Headed Blackbird
5. Common Grackle
6. American Crow
7. Common Raven
8. Turkey Vulture
9. Black and White Warbler
10. Yellow Warbler *
11. Yellow-Rumped Warbler
12. Chestnut-Sided Warbler
13. Downy Woodpecker *
14. Hairy Woodpecker *
15. Red-Bellied Woodpecker *
16. Pileated Woodpecker
17. Northern Flicker
18. Rose-Breasted Grossbeak *
19. Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker
20. Tree Swallow *
21. Indigo Bunting *
22. Barn Swallow * **
23. Eastern Bluebird
24. Blue Jay * **
25. Purple Martin
26. Chimney Swift
27. Chipping Sparrow **
28. Song Sparrow
29. American Tree Sparrow *
30. House Sparrow
31. White-Crowned Sparrow
32. Eastern Towhee
33. Common Redpoll
34. House Finch * **
35. Purple Finch *
36. Dark-Eyed Junco
37. House Wren *
38. Pine Siskin
39. Cedar Waxwing
40. Horned Lark
41. Northern Cardinal *
42. Common Nighthawk
43. Northern Harrier
44. Red-Tailed Hawk
45. Cooper’s Hawk
46. Killdeer *
47. American Kestrel
48. Mourning Dove *
49. Rock Dove
50. Ruffed Grouse *
51. Northern Bobwhite *
52. Ring-Necked Pheasant *
53. Barred Owl
54. Great Horned Owl
55. Eastern Screech Owl
56. Red-Breasted Nuthatch **
57. White-Breasted Nuthatch *
58. Black-Capped Chickadee * **
59. Tufted Titmouse
60. Eastern Phoebe
61. Gray Catbird
62. American Robin * **
63. Mallard
64. Canada Goose
65. Sandhill Crane
66. Ruby-Throated Hummingbird **
67. American Redstart
68. Baltimore Oriole * **
69. Scarlet Tanager
70. Common Yellowthroat
71. Eastern Meadowlark
72. Chimney Swift *
73. Wood Thrush
74. American Goldfinch *
 

SkeLeton

Cyburbian
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4,853
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Breed crows.. :) so they poke your eyes out... :p

nah... do whatever you wish.. although I'd let nature do it's job by itself.
 
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Well, I don't know why you posted this in the FAC. Shouldn't one of the mods move this to "Zoning, Land Use and Current Planning"??? :-D

When we had a bird building a nest just inside the exterior vent for our dryer (back in Kansas, where we owned a house), we immediately cleaned out the venting/tubing and bought a screening device to prevent it from happening again. Can you imagine the semi-baked eggs in the hot venting tubes? Ick!

So, if you are going to evict these (potentially) offensive tenants, I suggest you do it before there are any babies involved. If they take you to court, you don't want the crying little ones getting all the sympathy of the jury and press and proving what a cold-hearted cad you are. Be a cold-hearted cad when bias is on your side about how we don't want THOSE type of tenants.

[sarcasm & irony]Of course, everyone knows what a cold-hearted, callous Darwinist I am.[/sarcasm & irony]
 

Zoning Goddess

Cyburbian
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13,852
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Down here that hole would already be a wasp nest. Can't even put out bird-houses, the wasps get to them first.

I say you find out the average # of offspring per season per type of bird (preferred vs. trash), then consult your comprehensive plan for the area to determine if the expected densities exceed the land-use limits.
 

Wannaplan?

Bounty Hunter
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3,217
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29
giff57 said:
Kill the starlings
Can't do that. Illegal. Regardless, just leave them alone. Consider the nesting cycles of Starlings and other species. Maybe after the first Starling brood, they will vacate and some Sparrows, or whatever, will call it home. Watch the dynamic and see what happens. Learn from it. Unless you are an ornithologist or wildlife biologist. Then go ahead an implement your own management and conservation scheme.
 

Tom R

Cyburbian
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2,274
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25
ot

Is that a silver maple? If it is , be aware that they tend to rot easily and split. Especially the way it appears to be leaning. The bird holes and the pruning scars evident don't help. Have it checked by an aborist.
 

giff57

Corn Burning Fool
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Wanigas? said:
Can't do that. Illegal. Regardless, just leave them alone. Consider the nesting cycles of Starlings and other species. Maybe after the first Starling brood, they will vacate and some Sparrows, or whatever, will call it home. Watch the dynamic and see what happens. Learn from it. Unless you are an ornithologist or wildlife biologist. Then go ahead an implement your own management and conservation scheme.
Nope, the starlings will have another brood if they can. Starlings are not federally protected, but I know nothing of Wisconsin law. I still say Kill the European invaders.
 
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I don't know much about Starlings. Will someone spare me the googling and give a brief rundown on why these birds are considered "one of those?"
 

Plannerbabs

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I would check to see how many current tenants there are first. If fewer than five unrelated species are sharing the hole, and if there's adequate parking or access to a bus line, they're probably ok. But if they've chopped the inside of the tree into bedsits and they have hotplates all over, shared bathrooms, etc, there may be health and sanitation issues, and you may want to call in the inspectors or issue a citation.
 

giff57

Corn Burning Fool
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Planderella said:
I don't know much about Starlings. Will someone spare me the googling and give a brief rundown on why these birds are considered "one of those?"

Starlings are an introduced speices that takes over the tree cavities used by native birds. They also become pests in urban areas and will nest almost anywhere. The biggest problem is that they out compete the native cavity nesters for nest sites.
 

Attachments

Gedunker

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giff57 said:
Starlings are an introduced speices that takes over the tree cavities used by native birds. They also become pests in urban areas and will nest almost anywhere. The biggest problem is that they out compete the native cavity nesters for nest sites.
They also tend to group in outrageously large numbers (leading to outrageous amounts of birdpoop... :-c)

I'm wholly and completely with giff57: Kill 'em.
 

boiker

Cyburbian
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Does the starling's claim of the home qualify as "squatter's rights"? There should be some development code that could be applied to force eviction? Has the bird made improvements without first obtaining the proper permits? Perhaps the installation of a nesting room?
 

Gedunker

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If you are thinking about using federal funds, then you must follow the Uniform Relocation Act and, if you demolish the d/u (after successfully navigating a 17-step ER process), you will be obligated to replace the dwelling under "one-for-one".
 

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
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Cardinal:

Don't you wish you had a cat now? ;-)

 
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Wannaplan?

Bounty Hunter
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giff57 said:
They were released in the 1800's in NYC's Central Park by an Englishman who wanted to populate America with all the birds mentioned in Shakespear's plays. Look up dumbass in the dictionary and you will find an engraving of this man's profile next to the entry.
 

JNL

Cyburbian
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giff57 said:
Starlings are an introduced speices that takes over the tree cavities used by native birds. They also become pests in urban areas and will nest almost anywhere. The biggest problem is that they out compete the native cavity nesters for nest sites.
We have them here too, same problems. Thanks Mother England |-)

Still, I can't advocate killing them. Remember, all creatures great and small....
 
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JNL said:
We have them here too, same problems. Thanks Mother England |-)

Still, I can't advocate killing them. Remember, all creatures great and small....
Taken to it's logical extreeeeeme conclusion, you should also give up antibiotics, because they will murder all those tiny critters chewing on your body called "germs".
 

JNL

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Michele Zone said:
Taken to it's logical extreeeeeme conclusion, you should also give up antibiotics, because they will murder all those tiny critters chewing on your body called "germs".
Before this turns into an OT rant about antibiotics.... Did I say I can't advocate killing anything? No. I said I can't advocate killing them, meaning starlings. I used the 'all creatures great and small' reference, thinking of starlings. And I said advocate, not 'I am anti- killing anything'. :-@

I'm out of this thread.
 
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JNL said:
Before this turns into an OT rant about antibiotics.... Did I say I can't advocate killing anything? No. I said I can't advocate killing them, meaning starlings. I used the 'all creatures great and small' reference, thinking of starlings. And I said advocate, not 'I am anti- killing anything'. :-@

I'm out of this thread.
It wasn't meant as a personal attack. There are folks who do not want to kill ANY creature. Perhaps I took your "all creatures great and small" reference in completely the wrong way. But, as an environmental studies major, I am acutely aware that introduced species can run rampant in an environment in much the same way that an infection attacks the body. Introduced species are a really serious problem. Australia suffers horribly from a number of introduced species. I am not as familiar with New Zealand's situation. But I know that there are quite a few introduced species in Australia that are a serious problem. If they were wiped out, the place would be better off.
 

JNL

Cyburbian
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Michele Zone said:
Australia suffers horribly from a number of introduced species. I am not as familiar with New Zealand's situation. .
Okay I'm back...

It would be pretty similar I think - we have major issues with rats, possums, stoats, feral cats, pigs, deer, rabbits, spiders, snails, plants, weeds and trees etc etc taking over from native species. Native flora and fauna have suffered dearly, with many native bird species becoming extinct. Pest eradication programs are having some success on island reserves with controlled access.

Starlings, sparrows and pigeons (all introduced) are very common in urban areas.
 
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JNL said:
Okay I'm back...

It would be pretty similar I think - we have major issues with rats, possums, stoats, feral cats, pigs, deer, rabbits, spiders, snails, plants, weeds and trees etc etc taking over from native species. Native flora and fauna have suffered dearly, with many native bird species becoming extinct. Pest eradication programs are having some success on island reserves with controlled access.

Starlings, sparrows and pigeons (all introduced) are very common in urban areas.
Well, even without being personally familiar with New Zealand, I would imagine that the problem is likely to be pretty serious because it is a bunch of islands (right -- or am I Utterly Clueless???). I saw an interesting article a few years back -- I kept the magazine, actually, it was so interesting -- about Easter Island and all the evidence that it was once covered in a lush forest. It is seen in some circles as a microcosm of what we are doing to the planet.

A lot of species that are seen as 'cute' are getting out of hand. People will feed deer and squirrels in north america, yet we have so eradicated the species that hunt them that they are actively trying to re-introduce wolves. An ecosystem without predators is an ecosystem in real danger of a population crash -- which is much more catastrophic than putting up with the nasty predators. One community wanted to hunt the deer and reduce the overgrown population and was met with so much resistance that I think they decided to relocate some of them! Ugh.

I am still an idealist, in spite of my age, yatta yatta. But I have developed a pragmatic streak. ;-) Sometimes, it may sound "cruel" -- but it isn't. I am not a cruel person. I just know that physics is kind of "unforgiving" and "ignorance of the law" is absolutely no protection when it comes to the laws of physics. The world is faced with a simple reality: we can Get Real and start making tough choices -- or physics will make those decisions for us. I am not the "hysterical" type. I don't get all upset and cry and make a big fuss. I also do not like killing things. But everything dies. And, at some point, you have to decide what you value: what will be allowed to live and what kind of quality of life you are looking for. And then, often, you must simply choose "the lesser evil".
 
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B'lieve

Cyburbian
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219
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9
From the perspective of a budding biology teacher and builder of bluebird boxes: kill the winged rats, or at least drive them away. Biodiversity is not at all the same as human cultural/ethnic diversity (noone here said it was, but I have actually heard such sentiments regarding "meddling" with even introduced species, and am making a preemptive strike :-D ), and introduced species, unlike sentient human immigrants, can and should be managed when they get out of hand. MZ and giff57 have already mentioned the problems that can come with introduced species in general and starlings in particular. I don't think any state protects European starlings.

I say evict the buggers.
 

Cardinal

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Tom R said:
Is that a silver maple? If it is , be aware that they tend to rot easily and split. Especially the way it appears to be leaning. The bird holes and the pruning scars evident don't help. Have it checked by an aborist.
Hee! Um, no problem here. That is just a branch you are looking at. The tree is easily 100 years old, with a diameter of over two feet. It won't be coming down any time soon.

I'm thinking the thing to do is to pull out the nest and then stop up the hole for a couple of weeks. The starlings will move on, and then I can open it up to new renters.
 

Tom R

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tree

Cardinal said:
Hee! Um, no problem here. That is just a branch you are looking at. The tree is easily 100 years old, with a diameter of over two feet. It won't be coming down any time soon.


Silver maples (aka swamp maples) are often branched near the ground with heavy limbs. This "V" can be where they rot and split.
 
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