You Do Have to Admire Their Aim

Back in 2011, an abhorrent flock of starlings made a habit of befouling my balcony with their prodigious excrement.1 Though I repeatedly attempted to frighten them off, they grew accustomed to my presence and impossible to chase away. Fortunately, thanks to a local population of red tails, I discovered the starlings fear of hawks. Not being a licensed falconer, I opted to purchase a Bird-B-Gone Hawk decoy (“Nature’s enemy of birds and rodents”) to scare them off. A snap of the decoy was posted on my Instagram feed prior to the bird being put into place.

The Original Hawk Photo
Piercing Orange Eyes

I quickly found that even a plastic hawk was delightfully effective. The starlings ceased settling on the overhang above my balcony, though they were eventually brave enough to land in a tree a few feet away. Thankfully, that meant they were crapping on my downstairs neighbors, instead of on my breakfast.

I never managed to purchase sand with which to ballast my hawk2. Instead, I opted to secure the hawk using high-strength velcro, which worked well enough for two years. Recently, however, I came home to discover that my hawk had been brought low:

The Dead Hawk
Look what they done to my boy.

It was quite clear what had happened — the starlings had done him in. Whether through sheer luck or the bold leadership of one plucky bird, the bastards had managed to knock my hawk from his perch. Gravity did the rest, with his poor little skull shattering upon landing. No doubt rejoicing in their triumph, the starlings retook their positions on the overhang above my balcony.

When I came upon this scene, I drove the birds off so that I could mourn my loss in peace. Unfortunately, closer examination revealed the true depths to which these rotten beasts had sunk. Not content with murder, those greasy little defecation machines had piled insult upon the supreme injury my hawk had suffered. More succinctly, they shat in his eye.

Shit in his eye

Now that’s just cold-blooded.


  1. The Common Starling is not native to North America. Utmost asshole Eugene Schieffelin had the incredibly ill-considered goal of introducing to our continent all of the birds mentioned in the plays of William Shakespeare. The 60 birds Schieffelin released in Central Park in 1890 now have 150-200 million descendants, who’ve caused deaths due to bird strikes as well as illness due to their droppings. ↩︎

  2. Local hardware stores only seemed to carry enormous 50 pound bags, and I didn’t have much use for a leftover 49 pounds of sand. ↩︎