Recently, I went out on a service call for a resident in Brielle, NJ. The homeowner recently had a professional cleaning company come over and clean his exhaust vents. The cleaning service will typically drill a hole through the vent cover in order to get their equipment into the duct and then ”cap” the hole they drilled. In this case, the cleaning service didn't do this and in a short amount of time, starlings moved in.
Starlings have a reputation of being the most annoying and common home-invading birds in the US. These small, black birds with goldfish speckles and orange beaks aren't native to North America either. In 1890 a man name Samuel Schieffelin released 80 of these birds in Central Park and did the same with another 40 in 1891. His plan was to introduce all of the species mentioned in the plays of William Shakespeare to North America. European starlings were not native to North America. Schieffelin imported the starlings from England. Scientists estimate that descendants from those two original released flocks now number at more than 200 million residing in the United States! The starlings have also had a negative impact on the US economy and ecosystem, which designates them as an invasive species.
This time of year we have to also have to potentially deal with baby birds. Many of the nuisance birds we deal with will build a nest just for the babies. The eggs and the young are defenseless while mom and dad are away from the nest, and if exposed, there are numerous predators that would grab the eggs or the babies for a meal.
In order to safely remove the starlings, we installed a custom one-way device over the duct. This one-way device will allow the adult birds to safely exit the home but has been customized to allow them to call, and feed the babies from the outside, until they can fly and come out on their own. After just a few days all of the birds were safely removed from the duct. We then carefully removed the bird's nest, sanitized the entire area, and sealed up the vent to prevent future intrusions.