Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Starlings in a fog?

There's a battle that's been brewing between the city of Indianapolis, Indiana and several flocks of starlings (Sturnus vulgaris). According to this article from the Indianapolis Star, the animal rights group Fund for Animals, outraged at a task force's decision to poison the birds, offered free training and use of a fogging machine. The machine sprays methyl anthranilate, which has been effective at permanently scaring this non-native species away. Methyl anthranilate is a food additive and is harmless to humans. In the long term, I don't see how the fogging can be an effective solution, since the birds will just end up roosting someplace else. Instead, I prefer Mike Redmond's idea "If you can't beat 'em, then eat 'em!" The Indianapolis Star has featured several articles about the starling dilemma over the past couple of weeks, including one with general questions and answers and one about the initial delay in the planned eradication.

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