And so we have yet another moral dilemma. I do not consider myself to be a hunter, but I certainly have nothing against hunting or hunters. My wife is big time anti hunting, trapping, guns and is a tree-hugging nature loving borderline freak.
We feed the birds. Our cornucopia of feeds attract a wide variety of domestic birds. The problem is we also attract Starlings, which invade the feeders en-mass. They frequently arrive in groups of ten to twenty birds at a time. They chase off the other birds with their ruckus squabbling, consume mass quantities of expensive feed and crap all over everything. We even saw a couple of Starlings chase a pair of Red-belly Woodpeckers out of the tree cavity. The Red-bellies had spent a month excavating it for themselves.
Starlings, or European Starlings are not a native species, These birds were released in Central Park, New York by some freak , Eugene Schieffelin. He was president of the infamous American Acclimatization Society which tried to introduce every bird species mentioned in the works of William Shakespeare to North America in 1890, and this turned into a terrible environmental disaster. Go figure.
This situation is so infuriating to my nature loving wife that she has instructed me to "do what ever I have to" to reduce or eliminate the Starling population at our feeders. And not being anti hunting, and owning a fairly powerful air rifle with a scope, I have been obliging her wishes.
It does make me feel a little uneasy though. Native or not, don't the Starlings have as much right to exist as the pretty birds with the lovely songs. There are still a bunch of other birds around so it's not as if the Starlings are causing the extinction of song birds.
Or should I just shut up and keep firing?