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Ineffectiveness of Five Commercial Deterrents for Nesting Starlings

Jerrold L. Belant, Paul P. Woronecki, Richard A. Dolbeer and Thomas W. Seamans
Wildlife Society Bulletin (1973-2006)
Vol. 26, No. 2 (Summer, 1998), pp. 264-268
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Wildlife Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3784047
Page Count: 5
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Ineffectiveness of Five Commercial Deterrents for Nesting Starlings
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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.

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