For those of you who follow us on Facebook, you are probably well aware of the growing problem that we have with European Starlings that feed on our grapes just before harvest.
When our harvest is late, which is common here on Youngberg Hill, we can lose up to 30% of our hard won harvest to these invasive birds.
We now know that the starlings pose an even larger threat than we once thought.
Oregon is losing an alarming number of native birds due to the explosive growth of the starlings and native species like the Western Bluebird and Violet-green Swallow, as well as several species of Woodpeckers and Flickers, are feeling the impact of the invasion.
Many wildlife biologists are convinced that the starlings are enacting irreversible harm to western ecosystems and our new knowledge of this fact has spurred us to take action.
We recently partnered with Dr. Don Powers, Professor of Ornithology & Ecology at George Fox University to conduct the first Youngberg Hill native bird species survey on March 17th. We hope to make this survey an annual event so that we might be able to measure the health of our native bird population each year.
We are also enhancing native bird habitat around the vineyard though the planting of native shrubs and the installation of nesting boxes and feeders that are anti-starling in design. You can help our efforts by using starling-proof bird feeders in your own backyard bird habitat.
In our April newsletter we’ll be reporting on the results of the native bird survey so be sure stay tuned! As always we appreciate your support for our sustainability efforts and believe that not only are they the right thing to do, but ultimately make for a wine that leaves a good taste in your mouth in more ways than one!