Closing dumpsters is a simple but effective way to reduce conflicts with urban birds like starlings and house sparrows.
Birds Hitting Windows
Millions of birds die each year striking windows and other human-made objects. During nesting season, many complain about birds pecking at windows. While the image of a bird hitting a train is the subject for another blog, you can help prevent needless bird deaths by implementing a few simple steps.
Here is some information regarding preventing bird strikes to windows.
About the Author
Stephen M. Vantassel is a certified wildlife control operator and helps individuals and companies resolve wildlife issues. His latest book is the Wildlife Damage Inspection Handbook. 3rd edition.
Identifying Predation of Birds and Fowl
The question is, how does one know if the suspect animal killed or was simply feeding on the already dead carcass?
One tip is to carefully check the feathers particularly the root. If the root is smooth as pictured in the photo, then you know the feather was removed while the bird was still warm. If the root has bits of flesh attached the feather came from the bird when it was cold, i.e. dead.
It’s not a perfect test but it may help exonerate a suspected animal.
About the Author
Stephen M. Vantassel is a certified wildlife control operator and he specializes in wildlife damage sign. His latest book is The Wildlife Damage Inspection Handbook, 3rd. Ed. (2012). It can be purchased from the author or many fine book establishments.
Bird feeders that feed animals other than birds are one of the surest ways to ensure that hiring a wildlife control operator (WCO) is in your future.
Many people claim that determined squirrels cannot be stopped and that they can bypass any barriers. Nonsense. Squirrels are not gods. Other than flying squirrels, all feeders can be made squirrel proof.
The feeder imaged to your right (photo by Stephen M. Vantassel) is squirrel-free. Just be sure it is more than 10 feet away from branches or roofs where a squirrel can jump from.
About the Author
Stephen M. Vantassel is a certified wildlife control operator who helps individuals, businesses, and agencies resolve wildlife damage issues through training, writing, expert witness, and research. His latest book is the Wildlife Damage Inspection Handbook, 3rd edition. He can be contacted at wildlifecontrolconsultant at gmail dot com.
If you would like your publication, video, or product reviewed, please contact the author at the e-mail above.
All postings are the property of Stephen M. Vantassel and Wildlife Control Consultant, LLC. Text (not images) may be reprinted in non-profit publications provided that the author and website URL is included. If images wish to be used, explicit and written permission must be obtained from Wildlife Control Consultant, LLC.
Research on Stopping Damage by Woodpeckers
In a 2007 article entitled assessment of management techniques to reduce woodpecker damage to homes published in the Journal of Wildlife Management, Emily G Harding, Paul D. Curtis and Sandra L Vehrencamp provide some interesting information for homeowners struggling with woodpecker damage.
Cornell Study on Woodpecker Damage
Their study took place around Cornell University in the Lakes region of New York. In that part of the country six woodpeckers are commonly implicated in damaging homes namely the pileated woodpecker, Northern flicker, red bellied woodpecker, Harry woodpecker, downy woodpecker, and yellow bellied sapsucker. Interestingly they explain that some researchers found that the average homeowner who suffers from woodpecker damage sustains about $300 worth of damage to his/her home.
Lack of Research on Woodpecker Damage
It is no surprise that given the damage that woodpeckers cause there are a number of tools and techniques used to control the damage. The problem is little research has been done on the relative effectiveness of these techniques. Their focus was on those techniques that can be left in place rather than something that was temporary, such as spraying the woodpeckers with water. As a side note, their literature review revealed that applying methyl anthranilate to wood is not effective on woodpeckers because woodpeckers don’t eat the wood.
Woodpecker Control Techniques
For our purposes I just want to focus on the findings there’ve for the use of Irri-tape™, Bird Pro Sound system with a hawk call, and suet feeders. The point of the suet was to see if offering the woodpeckers food would distract them from damaging the house. Unfortunately the study was rather small involving only 16 homes with active woodpecker damage. The results however are still important as they may be helpful for others to determine what their first line of attack should be when woodpecker problem arises. Results were that irritate resolved 50% of the damage complaints where was used. It was by far the most effective device the bird Pro sound system and suet peters were successful in that placed which placed third and second respectively.
They also observed that earth-tone colored homes were almost twice as likely to suffer damage as pastel or white colored homes regardless of their siding.
Their study did not answer the question of whether a more rapid initiation of control would’ve had better fax as all these homes have established damage when they began. Nor did they answer what effect using multiple control techniques would’ve had on resolving woodpecker damage.
Most Effective Woodpecker Control Method
Bottom Line: Irri-tape™ worked the best. But I want to warn you that in their study strips were hung every several feet from a rope. Homeowners with high sensitivities to aesthetics may find this problematic.
About the Author
Stephen M Vantassel, CWCP, is a wildlife damage management specialist available for speaking, writing, consultation, and research.