Hi Dennis... I'm a wildlife biologist and ham... If the birds you see on the
tower have short tails and gold-flecks against a black feather coat, they're
probably starlings. If their tails are longer, they're either blackbirds or
grackles. My guess would be starlings.
The plastic owls only work if they're moved every few days (the other birds
notice that the owl hasn't been moving, and after a few careful tests to
see, learn that it's not a threat.) Noisemakers like carbide cannons or
whistler shells are often employed to frighten them away, and some
commercial animal control firms may have them and can obtain the perhaps
necessary permits for the temporary "shots" from your local government. (If
you're out in the country, with no neighbors too close, there are other
simpler, less expensive options...). There's a wrap that is sometimes
placed along ledges, etc. and could be wrapped around the cross braces of
your tower, but I'd think there are too many braces to cover economically.
There's also a commercial mix called "Tanglefoot" that makes a temporarily
sticky surface that frightens birds once they're landed on it, and it would
probably be the next best option after the noisemakers. Check wildlife
supply places like Ben Meadows or Forestry Suppliers for supplies and
information. They both have web sites, give 'em a Google.
Starlings tend to return to the same "safe roosts" year after year, and
they've probably decided that your tower now is one! You just have to make
it somehow convince them that it's "unsafe" instead.
For what it's worth from the nature trivia end of things, there's a very
strict order by which they arrange themselves on towers or tree roosts, with
the older and more dominant birds at the top, and the younger less dominant
birds arranged downward according to their status. The upshot, of course, is
that the boss birds don't get wetted by those above them. If you're the
youngest bird, everybody above you messes on you. Kind of like the business
world these days...
Let me know how it turns out ! Cheers....Bob
Bob Hinkle, KK8ZZ
Solon, Ohio 44139
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