Recently one of our members mentioned to me that hawks and owls are natural predators to starlings. Why doesn't the berry farm community do things to encourage these birds to live in the vicinity of blueberry fields. An easy way to encourage these birds is to install nest boxes the size that owls and hawks would use.
This seemed like an interesting option. Obviously this would not be a total solution to the starling problem, but would be just one more tool in an integrated approach to detering birds from blueberry crops, so I did a little more research on the topic of "raptors".
The first thing I found on the internet is that there are companies who will visit your property and bring trained hawks or falcons with them to attack your bird situation. According to their information, once a hawk starts circling a field, problem birds leave the area very quickly. Usually hawk silhouettes or heli-kytes that simulate hawks in flight are flown simultaneously, and the problem birds will stay away for a good while thinking that the silhouettes are the real thing. These companies also give recommendations for more permanent bird control solutions. One local Vancouver company called Hawkeye Bird Control provides this service in our area, but there are many companies listed on the internet that provide this service.
I also found many sites on the internet that go into great detail about constructing bird boxes, particularily for owls. They also mention that owls should be incouraged to use barns. They keep the rodent population under control and chase away other pest bird species like starlings. If you wish to find out more information about owls or hawks, the Canadian Wildlife Services site is very good, or simply do a search on Owl or Hawk, or Nest Boxes, etc. and you will find a number of sites that discuss this topic.
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