First Starlings (March 20,2008)

So the repeating nest trap sits virginal atop its wooden post. All painted white, untested, pure. UNTIL…One of my 50 glances outside per hour. My eye catches movement in the holding cage. Nah, could it? Nah, no! WAY! I look up at the housing and right on top of my Martin house, death with feathers. As if its laughing at the world, my heart sinks. It pops right in to a compartment that was housing a pair of martins. The nest, not yet complete, now the prospective breeding ground for black death. The European Starling! ugh, hear we go. Apparently the female went in the repeating nest box trap, virginal no more. But the male is calling and calling confused as to why his chosen won’t come up and take a look see at this mighty fine nest he has built (not) for her. The Martins are in obvious discord. No happy gurgling, no courting songs. A few of the braver males perch to watch and scream in protest. The Starling flies to his mate picks up some pine needles and flies back up to the purple martin nest. In he goes, right at home. Its only a matter of time before he gives up on this girl and brings another. He has no intention of going in the trap. Once again my trusty string and I, swing into action. I bring the house down, rig up a quick trap door on the compartment he has chosen and hoist the house back up. Rain drizzling down like a mist. Hurry, hurry, mornings almost gone. Soon the nest making stops and the daily duty of finding food is on their minds. Its now or never. I wait….1, 2, 3….minutes and in he goes. I pull the string and I trap him effortlessly. Textbook!!!  I bring the house down and it takes me longer to get him out of the house than it did to catch him.

Me 5,   Starlings 0

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