Grand Island to Reduce Starling Population


      The U.S. Department of Agriculture will begin treatments to reduce the starling population Tuesday in Grand Island.

      The city has received complaints and concerns regarding the birds because of their noisiness and filthiness. However, the biggest concern is the possible health effects from the bird droppings. Starlings can spread Salmonella, E. coli, perpetuate a soil fungus known asHistoplasmosis, as well as West Nile.

      The city of Grand Island began addressing this problem with annual treatmentsin 2005.

      The department will be using DRC-1339 which is a bird specific chemical that should not harm any other animals besides the starling bird. This is the only successful known treatment option for this particular problem.

      The starlings should die within 24 to 36 hours after eating food treated with the chemical. The dead birds will often be found in their roost.

      This chemical is only effective during winter months as the birds usually feed in large groups in one location only during the winter.

      According to the Central District Health Department, if residents shouldfind dead starlings on their private property, it is okay to dispose of thebirds in trash containers. The CDHD recommends using gloves or a bag whenpicking the starlings up.

      Residents who are physically unable to dispose of thebirds can call city hall at 308-385-5444 ext.260 to make arrangements forcleanup. The city is only offering this service to residents who are unable to collect and dispose of the birds.