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Friday, 29 July 2016

Bottoms Up

European starlings are in the neighbourhood and on wet days, they land on the front or back lawns. 

 

They are stout little creatures, with long, sturdy, pointed beaks. 

 

The young birds have grey brown colouring, the older ones are black.

 

They do everything as a flock and are noisy, flying around the neighbourhood looking for their next meal, a drink or a bath. 

 

A dead tree in the neighbourhood is a favourite observation deck. 

 

If we make any noise while they are on the lawn, they fly to the nearby fence to assess the threat. 

 

Their pursuit of food makes for interesting photos while they are on the lawn. Bottoms in the air, 

 

their heads are deep in the grass as they dig for insects, worms or grubs after the rain. 

These starlings were introduced to North America when one hundred birds were released in Central Park, New York in the 1890s. Many generations later, there is a flock in Summerside, Prince Edward Island, descendants of those immigrants, who adapted and made the best of their lives on the new continent. It sounds like a familiar story. Bottoms up indeed!

 

30 comments:

  1. Well, they were certainly fruitful and multiplied from that original one hundred.

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  2. I have watched a flock methodically work across the yard and know there will be few Japanese beetles next year.

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    Replies
    1. It's great they help you out like that!

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  3. Great story about the Starlings.
    Absolutely love the Bottoms Up photo.

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  4. Many starlings made it to Ontario as well and travel in huge flocks. They're bullies at the feeders so it's best to take them down for the summer.

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  5. Starlings were brought to Oz too. And have done remarkably well. Some criticise them, and describe them as flying rats, but they didn't ask to be brought here. Stellar survivors.

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    1. They are survivors. I admire them, rat-like and all.

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  6. WOW, I have not seen so many starlings together except in flight.

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    1. They are interesting on the lawns because of their response to any noise. It is a big flock!

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  7. I have been wondering where all my starlings had gone to. Not a one so far this year. Now I know, you've stolen them!

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    1. Someone stole them in the 1890s, Keith. It wasn't me.

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  8. I've read that Starlings are among the most intelligent of all birds. I love your 2nd picture of the little one alone...sweet.

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  9. Most entertaining birds and beautifully iridescent when the light catches them.

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  10. But WHY IN THE WORLD were they introduced?

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    1. It is unbelievable but Shakespeare enthusiasts wanted America to have all the birds mentioned in Shakespeare's work, hence the starlings.

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  11. We have few starlings around here, but I think it's because there are so many other kinds of birds that they are outnumbered, and that's saying something! We are blessed to have so many. I'm glad that we don't have masses of starlings like that, but sometimes we have that many crows, or pigeons, in a huge mass. Thanks for the great pictures of them, Marie. :-)

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    1. you are welcome. I love these creatures!

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  12. Cute and clever post. You almost make me like Starlings. Aroud here they get into mischief and make noise.

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    1. They are noisy but haven't worn out their welcome so far.

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  13. Wonderful pictures, are they with your all year around? Amazing that they were introduced because of Shakespeare! Do you ever see murmuration of Starlings? It is spectacular to watch. Sarah x

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  14. I have only seen video of a murmuration. I would love to see one live!

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  15. What a wonderful thought and parallel to immigrants, Marie. I especially like them on the fence. :)

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  16. They are incredible creatures, Ginnie. The really stick together!

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  17. they look so cute but their presence is intense as when i see such unity in birds with quite sharp beaks and in offensive style it makes me little nervous

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  18. I don't find them aggressive but I think they can be. Have a great weekend.

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