Sunday, February 03, 2008

An Open Offer to the Brits

The CBS News program Sunday Morning ran a video story entitled: POSTCARD FROM LONDON: The Gray Squirrel vs. The Red Squirrel. The message was that some Brits are attempting to stem an invasion of American Grey Squirrels that is, unfortunately, overwhelming and, sadly, reducing the numbers of the more native Red Squirrels.
To my friends in the UK, I FEEL YOUR PAIN!
Like you, I am overrun with animals not native to my country. In my case, it is the starling - a bird introduced 120 years ago to the States from your country. The starling easily adapted to American cities after 100 birds were liberated in Central Park, New York City, in 1890. Since then it has spread over most of the continent. Its large roosts, often located on buildings, may contain tens of thousands of birds. Hordes of these birds create much noise, damage vegetable or fruit crops, and do considerable damage around feedlots, consuming and fouling the feed of domestic cattle, and have proved difficult to drive away. Starlings compete with native hole-nesters for woodpecker holes and natural cavities. [] Between January and late May, here at the Colvin Run Habitat, the starling eats us out of house and home - I cannot keep them away from the feeders. And they absolutely take over the bird bath regardless of the season.

We Americans will come to the UK and round up all of your (or is that our) gray squirrels WHILE you come to the States remove all of our (or is that your) starlings. I think that this is a great deal on both sides. If nothing else, we will increase the tourist business in both countries.


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