The Dutch football association KNVB has called on football clubs to install special nest boxes round their grounds to encourage starlings to settle and eat the grubs and larvae which destroy grass.
Beetle grubs eat the roots of grass under the ground while some types of mosquito larvae devour the green leaves, the KNVB said.
Baby starlings are primarily fed with the grubs and as the birds breed twice a year – having an average of five chicks each time – they get through a large number, the KNVB pointed out.
‘The starling has a thin beak which can pull the grubs out,’ the KNVB said in a news release. They also make smaller holes than rooks and crows which feed on the grubs as well.
Several golf clubs have successfully managed to attract starlings to their greens by putting up the nesting boxes, the football body said.
The KNVB’s call is supported by bird protection society Vogelbescherming Nederland which points out that starling population has plunged 60% since the 1980s. The decline is partly due to the loss of both habitat and suitable food, the organisation said.
Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl.
We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.Make a donation