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What is it with starlings and chimneys?

Discussion in 'Firewood, Heating and Wood Burning Equipment' started by Kevin in Ohio, Feb 25, 2009.

  1. Kevin in Ohio

    Kevin in Ohio Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Was wondering if others have those pesky starlings constantly getting into their chimney flues during the off season? We have an older home and stoves in our barns and I'm amazed how every year they get in there. My record is 12 in one flue in one year. I always have to clean them out before starting the stove/s up. You learn to be cautious when opening the door in the fall!

    You'd think the gene pool would go down but it seems to be getting worse over the years. I can remember the first time it happened when I was a kid. Our home was originally heated with an oil furnace. One went down the chimneys and came out the damper and was flying around the inside of the house. Mom was LIVID as the bird was covered in soot and proceeded to blacken up the ceilings and drapes as it tried to get out. Finally met it's match with a overhead smash from a tennis racket.

    Reason for writing is I put covers on the unused chimneys in my home but one of them moved a little from the wind we had and I'm sitting here listening to one scratching in the pipe of the unused oil furnace. Can't get up there due to snow on the roof so it's a waiting game. I've wondered whether they fall asleep and fall in or if they just wonder what's down that black hole ;)
     
  2. mga

    mga Tree Freak

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    don't they eat alot of mosquitos and stuff?
     
  3. Del_

    Del_ Tree Freak

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    Sounds like you have a case of 'avian flue'. Yuk, yuk, yuk!:)
     
    Laird and Ductape like this.
  4. KD57

    KD57 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    We have a bunch of them too. my solution is keeping a wire mesh over the flue, and a pellet gun in the garage. We don't have a problem except Feb / Mar., they are looking for nesting sites at this time of the year. Dark black holes are inviting to them, as they don't usually nest in trees, just buildings and such.
     
  5. rb_in_va

    rb_in_va Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Get a chimney cap.

    /thread
     
  6. Austin1

    Austin1 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Ah the Starling, My mother hates them!
    The reason is they are a introduced species and compete and kill smaller birds like chickadee's. When I came home from school my mom would send me out with the pellet gun to take care of them:)She must have bought me a ton of pellets.
    A chimney cap will keep them out of your chimney, but not the garden or bird feeders.
     
  7. mga

    mga Tree Freak

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    :clap: lol
     
  8. Kevin in Ohio

    Kevin in Ohio Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I do put caps on the 2 main ones and take them off when firing up the stoves in the fall. The OWB is no problem as it has heat all the time and they stay out. The barns are only going when I'm working in there so that's a problem. I tried a cap and it made such a mess it wasn't worth it when it gets cold. Heat from smoke hits the cap and causes condensation and cresote cycles make everything a mess. I just wad up paper lit and smoke them out if I hear them scratching in there.

    I think the main problem is we are in a migration path as there will hundreds of them come in flocks. Trees get black with all of them and shotgun blasts will take out at least 6 at a time. Never heard of a starling eating mosquitos :monkey: Swallows and bats do that around here.

    I was just wondering why they seem to be the only bird that does it but I guess your explanation makes sense.
     

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