Common Starlings "Invasion"

To: Jack Shapiro <>
Subject: Common Starlings "Invasion"
From: Hugo Phillipps <>
Date: Tue, 24 Oct 2000 10:43:35 +1000
Jack -  

At 08:53 AM 24/10/00 +0100, you wrote:
>Does anyone know whether the presence of Common Starlings is more of a
>threat to native birds than that of the Common Mynas in terms of competition
>for nest sites and territorial aggression ?

There are still many unknowns about the ecological impact of these species
on native birds.  Mynas are larger and, in my experience, often more
persistent and aggressive.  Because the Starlings are smaller, possibly
they are some some native species that can stand up to them better than
with Mynas.  On the other hand, Common Starlings seem to be better at
spreading into native bushland habitats better than Mynas.  They may not be
having much direct effect on the birds in your backyard simply by visiting;
however, they are probably having an effect on parrot species in the
general area around your backyard through occupying most available nesting

If you are interested I can send you, or anyone else, (by post or email
attachment) an information sheet about nestboxes, including a design for an
anti-myna nestbox which should also work to exclude starlings.  (Actually
the original version of this is on our website, but I have a slightly
updated version available which is not).  Just let me know.  I also support
your idea of planting a dense, prickly understory; this should help in the

>Is there anything that can be done to discourage the new  " invaders" from
>visiting the yard, short of shooting them ?

If the area is saturated with Starlings, even shooting them is unlikely to
have any major effect.  Better to make the habitat unsuitable for them.


Hugo Phillipps
Communications Coordinator
Birds Australia
415 Riversdale Road
HAWTHORN EAST 3123, Australia
Tel: (03) 9882 2622, fax: (03) 9882 2677
Email: <>
Web site: <>

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