No Permanent Solution For Grand Island's Bird Problem


The city of Grand Island is again targeting birds, working with the USDA to kill of a portion of the area's starling population.

Crews put toxins where large groups of the birds are feeding Monday.

Chad Richardson, at the USDA, said this will likely have to be done for years to come to control the European bird's population enough that they don't take over the habitat of native species.

He said the USDA is working with cities to design buildings and trim trees to decrease their habitat. Other than those preventative measure, Richardson said there's not a permanent solution to keep the birds away.

The chemical - DRC-1339 - will cause kidney failure in the birds, killing them over the next few days.

Officials said it won't harm you or your pets.

"They're very safe to discard just by using rubber gloves or just a trash bag. You can feel free to pick up the bird up and just dispose in the garbage," said Nicki Stoltenberg, assistant to the Grand Island city administrator.

Stoltenberg said if you are unable to dispose of the birds, you can call the city to do it for you.

G.I. budgets $5,000 every year for starling treatments. Officials said many residents have expressed concerns of noise and filth nuisances related to the starlings, but of most concern is the health nuisance caused from the droppings of the birds. Starlings can spread Salmonella, E. coli, perpetuate a fungus soil known as Histoplasmosis, as well as West Nile.

The city of Grand Island started addressing this problem with treatments in 2005. They say this is the only successful known treatment option for this nuisance.