Tag: birds

An Unexpected Guest in the Fireplace

This past Sunday, we received an emergency call from a residential home in Kalamazoo. The customer reported hearing strange sounds coming from the fireplace—movement, rustling, almost a flapping kind of noise. We sent our West Michigan manager, Josh Boone, out to investigate. It’s not uncommon to get a call for weird noises coming from the fireplace. The chimney is a very common entry point for wildlife such as squirrels, raccoons, bats, and more. These particular sounds, however, were tell-tale signs of a bird. Josh had been to many bird-in-fireplace calls over the years. In most such calls, the bird is a starling that has become inadvertently trapped in the fireplace. When Josh arrived on the scene, though, it was clear right away that whatever was rustling in there was much bigger than a starling. When he opened the fireplace and shined his light inside, Josh saw not a starling but…

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Use Your Bird Seed Wisely

One of the easiest ways to deter unwanted wildlife from getting into your home is to get bird feeders away from the house. We love the birds, but the hard truth is that the bird seed people put in their feeders attracts all sorts of critters, from raccoons to deer to squirrels and mice. Birds are notoriously messy in their eating habits, as you can see from the picture above. Raccoons and other critters will often come to the area by night to scavenge the spilled birdseed. Enterprising raccoons or squirrels will actually climb up and knock the birdfeeder around to intentionally spill more seed. A lot of bird seed gets consumed this way; in fact, it has been estimated that for every 20 pounds of bird seed a homeowner puts out, 11 pounds of it will get consumed by creatures other than birds. The danger in this is that…

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Hawk Takes Down a Squirrel

One of our technicians recently got to witness an exhibition of nature at her finest and snapped these pictures of a Coopers Hawk swooping down on a squirrel. The hawk dive-bombed the squirrel in the road right in front of our tech. The tech snapped some pics as the hawk and the squirrel wrestled momentarily before the falcon came out victorious, flying away with his prey hooked firmly in his talons. Nature is beautiful and terrifying!  

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Michigan Mute Swan Management

Perhaps you have been on a canoe or jet-ski and been caught off guard by an aggressive swan hissing and chasing you? Or maybe you live on a lake or pond and have noticed swans driving out ducks and other waterfowl? If so, you have encountered the mute swan, a common nuisance bird in Michigan. In this article we will examine the characteristics of the mute swan, highlight some of the problems they pose, and offer guidance on removal. Characteristics of the Mute Swan The mute swan is a non-native invasive waterfowl. They are white, similar to trumpeter swans and tundra swans (both native to Michigan), but are identifiable by black knob on the top of their bill. Another easy way to identify a mute swan is by their orange bill (Michigan’s native swans all have black bills). They are extremely aggressive; besides driving out native waterfowl with their hostile behavior,…

Mute Swan
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Starlings and Their Diseases

The European starling is one of the most common nuisance birds in the United States. Introduced to the U.S. in 1891, the 50 original pairs have ballooned into a national population estimated at 200 million. Starlings have a black, speckled coloration and a very short tail. They prefer urban or suburban habitats where man-made structures give them ample nesting and roosting sites. They are mainly insectivorous, but will also feed on small fruits, such as cherries and grapes, as well as apples, which they peck holes in and hollow out. They are among the worst nuisance species in North America, disrupting native birds, destroying fruit, interfering with air travel and roosting on city blocks Starlings carry a host of diseases, many transferable to livestock, but several that can infect humans. Five bacterial diseases, two fungal diseases, four protozoan diseases, and six viral diseases may potentially be transmitted to humans and…

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