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Old 03-05-2011, 07:46 PM   #1
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I'm clueless on these birds! They were in a tree in the city, most likely unable to fly in extreme winds, holding on for life. That bluish sheen...amazing!
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Old 03-05-2011, 08:32 PM   #2
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Starlings...nice shots!
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Old 03-05-2011, 09:33 PM   #3
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Ooh! That's funny, because I've heard about starlings, but I've never seen any close enough to know what they look like! I've probably seen them at a distance many times and didn't know what they were. Thanks!
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Old 03-05-2011, 11:51 PM   #4
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...I've heard about starlings, but I've never seen any close enough to know what they look like!
I'm guessing that you may have heard that European starlings often out compete our native cavity nesters--such as the bluebird which used to be as common as robins.
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Old 03-06-2011, 07:58 AM   #5
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In my backyard yesterday, I had at least one hundred starlings buzzing around the bird feeders. There were a couple of grackles (first of the season) mixed in. They were not able to eat the sunflower seed, but they made short work of the suet.

They will be breaking up their flocks soon and pairing up to mate. They're a major nuisance here, though not as bad as they were some years ago. Seems a local farmer, after receiving a petition from a bird watching group, changed one of his farming practices, and it resulted in less food for the starlings and, hence, a reduction in their numbers.

The thing about the starling is that it's an interesting and highly intelligent bird - when you study one alone. They don't make the annoying repetitious sound of the English sparrow, and they don't flock in the summers as those sparrows do. Were it not they were aliens that usurped the nesting holes of native species, and were it not that they can be quite aggressive with native birds while competing for food, they wouldn't be so bad to have around. They certainly are beautiful with their iridescence.
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Old 03-06-2011, 12:02 PM   #6
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In my backyard yesterday, I had at least one hundred starlings buzzing around the bird feeders. There were a couple of grackles (first of the season) mixed in. They were not able to eat the sunflower seed, but they made short work of the suet.
Luckily, the most I've seen here, so far, was a flock of nine. I didn't have any suet out, just the black oil sunflower seeds that they seemed to have no interest in what-so-ever.

I'm hoping to see grackles and redwinged blackbirds soon!

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...They're a major nuisance here, though not as bad as they were some years ago. Seems a local farmer, after receiving a petition from a bird watching group, changed one of his farming practices, and it resulted in less food for the starlings and, hence, a reduction in their numbers.
I'm glad to hear that. What were the farming practices and how did he change them?

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The thing about the starling is that it's an interesting and highly intelligent bird - when you study one alone...Were it not they were aliens that usurped the nesting holes of native species, and were it not that they can be quite aggressive with native birds while competing for food, they wouldn't be so bad to have around. They certainly are beautiful with their iridescence.
All living things are important to me, I hate to view some of them as "enemies", but I guess I hate that humans have brought things together that are causing such havoc to the ecosystems.

They are interesting birds and attractive as well...in their own way.

The other day I saw a preview for some movie with an alien that picked up a (recently dead) bird that happened to be a starling, brought it back to life, then promptly ate it in one bite. I'd bet being an intelligent bird may have been one reason why they picked it to train as an animal actor.
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Old 03-06-2011, 05:35 PM   #7
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Yes, I had heard that stalings are a problem! In the city nearby, grackles are really a big huge problem. I remember when one shopping center years ago was using the call of some large predatory bird to try to keep them away! Must not have worked, because they stopped doing it. I don't get grackles or starlings either one in my yard. Maybe they don't hang around in the countryside.
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Old 03-06-2011, 07:16 PM   #8
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Yes, I had heard that stalings are a problem! In the city nearby, grackles are really a big huge problem. I remember when one shopping center years ago was using the call of some large predatory bird to try to keep them away! Must not have worked, because they stopped doing it. I don't get grackles or starlings either one in my yard. Maybe they don't hang around in the countryside.
Ah, but grackles are natives, and as such, welcome here. They are truly beautiful and, when speaking of iridescence, win the prize for the blue iridescence on their heads. Large birds, they're fun to watch and, at least in my area, will not cause the destruction to other species that the starlings will.
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