Sunday, September 13, 2009

European Starlings

Back in the 1890's, crazy people decided that the United States should be populated with all the birds mentioned in Shakespeare plays. So they let 100 European Starlings loose in Central Park. I'm not kidding.

A lot of people dislike starlings because they're not native and they thrive here. As I've mentioned before, I don't see a reason to dislike a bird because it's common. I certainly don't agree with disliking a bird because it's not native. It's not as if the bird booked passage on a ship and decided to come here. Regardless, they're here and they're everywhere, so I say embrace them. At least some people agree with me.

you don't like me?
I love the picture below because in the middle of all these big pigeons, the starling swoops down and grabs the bread. The starling is at the bottom, with the piece of bread that is almost the size of his head.

A few months ago I saw this brown bird with very red eyes in Pescadero, CA. I thought I found a new bird. I looked in my field guide and I couldn't find the bird anywhere! So I asked on birdforum, where the people are helpful and all knowing in their collective wisdom. Do you know what the answer was?

juvenile starling
Can you believe that this bird is a starling? It's amazing how many brightly colored birds start out their first year in drab garments.

Starlings travel in gangs. Below, you can see a flock of juveniles that are in the beginning stages of growing their adult feathers.

Today, we stopped off at the mall before birding and got to see a real treat. Teenagers! Look how sassy they are.

look at me when I'm talking to you!

you watch where you're stepping!
There were so many of them making such wonderful noises. And such variety! They all have speckled breasts, but some of them have whiter heads than others and some are still shedding the last of their baby feathers.

Oh, if only they let you hug them, but like most teenagers, they want nothing to do with you.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.