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BEASTS BEGONE! Appendix A: Animal Identification

Birds and Snakes

House Sparrow

European Starling

Rock Dove (Feral Pigeon)

Woodpeckers

Snakes

 

House sparrow

Small (less than 3 oz.) brown, chunky. Male has a black throat and white cheeks; the top of the head is gray flanked with chestnut. Female is dingy brown. Both sexes have a striped back. Diurnal (active during day). Frequent invader of attics, eaves, vents, and miscellaneous openings.

Access Routes

Any place with an open flight lane.

Entry Sites

Vents (roof, soffit, gable, bathroom, kitchen stove hood); any openings large enough on the outside of the structure; will also build nests on the exterior of structures.

Sounds

Monotonous musical chirping; chattering.

Fecal Droppings

"White wash."

Other Signs

Nests (bulky, roofed accumulation of grass and similar fibrous materials) located in holes, cavities, and on sides of buildings.

 

European Starling

Short-tailed, black, weighing about 3 oz. Plumage may be speckled with white or iridescent. Bill yellow during the spring and summer. Flies swiftly and in a straight line. Frequent invader of attics, eaves, vents, and miscellaneous openings.

Access Routes

Any place with an open flight lane.

Entry Sites

Vents (roof, soffit, gable, bathroom, kitchen stove hood); any openings large enough on the outside of the structure.

Sounds

Song is diverse and rather squeaky. Often mimics other bird species.

Fecal Droppings

"White wash."

Other Signs

Nest (loose accumulation of grass, twigs, and similar materials) placed in a hole or other cavity in the house exterior.

 

Rock Dove (feral pigeon)

Plump bird with small head and fan-like tail. Color very variable but typically gray. White rump usually distinctive. The average weight is 13 oz. When taking off, their wing tips touch, making a characteristic clicking sound. When gliding, their wings are raised at an angle. Diurnal (active during day). Frequent invader of upper portions of buildings and attics.

Access Routes

Any place with an open flight lane.

Entry Sites

Any structure on building that provides some protection from weather. Enters attics through deteriorated woodwork or broken windows/vents.

Sounds

Cooing.

Fecal Droppings

White/gray. Often accumulate.

Odor

Pungent; associated with fecal matter.

Other Signs

Feathers; nests (sticks and grasses arranged in a crude platform); broken egg shells.

 

Woodpeckers

Several species ranging in size from small (less than 7 inches long) to almost crow-sized (about 20 inches long). Most species are similar in size to robins (around 10 inches long). Most species are black and white with some red on the head. Woodpeckers are active during the day. They will perch on the sides of trees and wood buildings to drill holes and/or search for insects. They can do considerable damage to wood buildings. Birds will occaisionally nest inside hollow walls after drilling an opening.

Access Routes

Any place where birds can easily fly to and from, especially in the vicinity of trees.

Entry sites

Wood siding.

Sounds

Loud calls which are distinct for each species. Territorial "drumming" caused by rhythmic pecking on dead wood, buildings, or metal.

Fecal Droppings

"White wash."

Other signs

Holes in wood siding caused by drilling.

 

Snakes

Well-known slender, legless body shape. Color and body markings vary by species. Most snakes in the Northeast are not venomous. Frequent invaders of basements. Occasionally found in wall voids and attics. May be attracted by rodents or insects.

Access Routes

Physical cover near the foundation can facilitate access (e.g., firewood or debris piles, vegetation).

Entry Sites

Openings usually in vicinity of foundation.

Fecal Droppings

Often elongated; partially white.

Other Signs

Shed skins.

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