European Starlings

1981starlingfbtempI remember the first time I really noticed a European Starling.  What a beautiful bird!  In the summer, they are this beautiful iridescent color, and in the winter they are covered with beautiful white spots.  And when I saw this video of a murmuration, I was in awe.

As I became more interested in birding, I started to hear how much people hated Starlings.  They can be aggressive, and they can take over the nests of other birds.  And they are invasive in North America:  the following was copied from The Cornell Lab of Ornithology website:

All the European Starlings in North America descended from 100 birds set loose in New York’s Central Park in the early 1890s. The birds were intentionally released by a group who wanted America to have all the birds that Shakespeare ever mentioned. It took several tries, but eventually the population took off. Today, more than 200 million European Starlings range from Alaska to Mexico, and many people consider them pests.

I must say, that is amazing.  European Starlings are one of North America’s most common songbird, and they all descended from 100 birds?

So I guess I’m supposed to hate Starlings.  But so far, they haven’t caused any trouble in my garden.  A few have stopped by once or twice, stayed for a bit, and then moved on.  Recently, I looked out to see a Starling on my suet feeder.  As I went to get my camera, I muttered to myself, “There goes the neighborhood.”  This was the Starling’s reaction:

0173starlingfb

I thing he’s pretty cute!

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