In my last blog I made you aware of some serious issues regarding the harm non native starlings are causing vineyard and local ecosystem. As both the winemaker and steward of this land, I have witnessed the damage that the Starlings can do.
There are several methods to try to deter these hungry migrants; firing propane cannons, hire-a-hawk and vine netting are common anti Starling practices here in the valley. Youngberg Hill has traditionally favored a more natural approach by playing recordings of Starlings in distress and predatory raptor calls as a deterrent.
In 2010 the invasive flocks devoured over 30% of our organic crop. After working so hard to nurture the vines all year this was a devastating loss. As a sustainable grape grower, our primary goals is to farm in a harmonious way with the true native species of plants and wildlife that make up our hillside habitat.
We are always looking for more natural solutions, and in the coming weeks I’ll be asking friends of both Oregon native birds and Youngberg Hill wines to for some special help. For some of these solutions we will need your help on actual ecostytem enhancement projects at Youngberg Hill. For others we will be asking you to make helpful Starling deterring choices for your own backyard habitats.
Together we can work to rebuild our native bird populations and start at restoring a natural balance.
Let us know what you think by commenting below.