Starlings are very common medium sized black birds, speckled with white dots. They are omnivorous and will consume just about anything small enough, and will sometimes cause damage to crops and gardens. It is not uncommon for starlings to invade attics to build large and untidy nests for roosting. Starlings can carry parasites such as lice, ticks, and mites as well as transmit diseases like Avian Tuberculosis and Avian Malaria.
Considered an agricultural pest, sparrows are extremely common in urbanized areas as they mostly rely on humans to survive. They are small brown and grey birds that frequently live and breed indoors and can be difficult to remove.
Also considered an agricultural pest, these birds are extremely recognizable and live just about everywhere. While Pigeons don’t pose much of a health risk to humans (aside from lice, ticks or mites), they are often destructive to homes and crops. If there is a way to get into an abandoned building or even a lived in home or attic, they will find it. Pigeons will form nests in roof spaces, gutters, eaves and anywhere else that offers an opening.
Canada Geese have a black head and neck with white cheeks and a bulbous grey body. They almost always hang out in large groups and can be seen pretty much everywhere in Ohio at anytime of the year. Many geese can have a detrimental effect on water quality and raise health concerns as bird feces contain a number of pathogens including Giardia. They have also been associated with property damage. Canada Geese are protected under the Migratory Bird Act and there is a small window between March and August when they can be removed.
There are many types of woodpeckers, but are easily identified by their strong pointed beak which acts as both a chisel and crowbar to remove bark and find hiding insects. They primarily eat insects, fruits, acorns and nuts. Woodpeckers live in wooded areas and forests where they tap on tree trunks in order to find insects living in crevices in the bark and also to excavate nest cavities. Some species drum on the trees to communicate to other woodpeckers and as a part of their courtship behavior. Woodpeckers tap an estimated 8,000 to 12,000 times per day. One of the largest woodpecker species is the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker, which was thought to be extinct for the greater part of the 20th century but was discovered again in 2005. This species measures from 19 to 21 inches in length and weighs from 1 to 1.25 pounds. The smallest woodpecker in North America is the Downy Woodpecker, which only reaches about 7 inches in length. On average, woodpeckers live from 4 to 11 years.