[Tweeters] How to help a tangled starling?

Barbara Miller bmill07 at comcast.net
Fri Dec 19 12:56:17 PST 2008

Well Scott, I could say that I thought of that, but given the way the bird
was entangled, I wouldn't have been able to get a tight enough seal, so I
had no choice but to free it J.

Seriously, I happen to enjoy starlings when I see them, which isn't as often
as it might be. Since I generally offer only safflower seed, and my suet
feeder is one of those with a cage that lets in smaller birds and flickers'
tongues but keeps out starlings (and squirrels), I usually only see them on
the neighbors' lawns or fences. But I enjoy their antics and vocalizations;
I think they're the comedians of the avian world. So I didn't mind that
they hogged the mesh bag with the pieces of the nut and suet wreath
inside-until I saw how I had put one of them at risk. The remains of the
suet wreath are now sitting in the open area of the caged suet feeder, where
the starlings can easily get at it-it seemed like the safest way to go
forward with it, without putting it on the ground to attract rats.

Maybe I should have stretched the truth and said it was a varied thrush that
was caught-then no one could have questioned my soft-heartedness J.

Barb Miller

From: Scott R a y [mailto:mryakima at gmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, December 18, 2008 8:34 PM
To: Tweeters
Subject: Re: [Tweeters] How to help a tangled starling?

When one finds a starlings in this predicament, the best way to handle the
situation is to place a zip-lock bag over the bird and seal it tightly for
about 20 minutes.

Scott R
East Valley

On Thu, Dec 18, 2008 at 4:59 PM, Barbara Miller <bmill07 at comcast.net> wrote:

I put out one of those birdseed wreaths yesterday, found the pieces of it on
the ground this morning, and put them into the mesh bag that came with it
and hung it up. It has been very popular with the starlings, and I just
noticed in the dusk that one poor bird seems to have gotten its feet
entangled in the mesh and is flapping desperately to get out, then resting.

Once when I approached it, it seemed to freeze, I went in to get scissors to
see if I could cut the bag so it could escape with only a small part still
attached to its foot, and now when I go back it flaps like crazy if I go
near it (it's also the case that the scissors won't cut the bag).

I have never banded birds, but I assume that there must be ways to handle
them that do not harm them, and perhaps pacify them enough that I could
untangle its foot. Can anyone give me advice about this?

If you reply to the group, please copy me offline as I read Tweeters in
digest and I don't think the bird will last until tomorrow.


Barbara Miller


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