Saturday, May 28, 2011

Starlings

Most years starlings nest in the awning over our backdoor. It's rotten, with a convenient hole in the front and should have been replaced years ago, but whenever I get around to thinking about doing that the next generation of starlings moves in. So they're welcome on two counts - I can legitimately put off the job for another year and I can also enjoy their fine, iridescent breeding plumage (double-click for a better view). When they are prospecting the site it sounds like they're running around inside with hob-nail boots on but once they are incubating eggs it all goes quiet.

When the ultra-demanding fledglings finally emerge they make their parents' life hell for a while, demanding to be fed when they could quite easily feed themselves but.....

... they gradually get the idea.






















Fledgling starlings' plumage is deadly dull, compared with the wonderful iridescence of their parents' feathers but that all begins to change in the following year .........


.... when they become sharp-suited, confrontational and raucous.


12 comments:

  1. Interesting article. The fledglings seem to behave like some human children demanding attention! I have not seen yellow slugs fortunately. All we have are the black ones, who also behave the same way.

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  2. Hi Phil. It's great that you tolerate them above your back door as they are such messy nesters. 25 years ago I put up some swift nest boxes under the eaves of my house. I long since moved next door but one of the boxes is still there. Never been used by swifts but the starlings love it. This is a good arrangement as I can enjoy the starlings without having to clean the windows and the path. Your post has reminded me of the world's flashiest starling nest box. I'll dig out the photos and post them on my blog. Allan

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  3. One of my favourite birds Phil; real hooligans of the bird world, but so full of character. Never a dull moment when they come visiting.

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  4. I do like Starlings, they seem to have impish personalities.

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  5. When you say of the young starlings that they could easily feed themselves, remember how well you could fly at their age. Have you caught up? At their age, you could suck milk. They grow up so fast, or they fall prey to something.

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  6. Hi lotusleaf, they certainly do, and it goes on for several weeks

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  7. Hi Allan, our neighbours on either side have lawns where the starlings feed and with a comfortable flat above our back door the starlings have got it made...

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  8. Too right Keith - have you seen Midmarsh John's posts about the starlings in his garden at http://midmarsh.blogspot.com/2011/05/great-tit-nest-box-brat-pack.html
    he calls them the brat pack

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  9. Hi Steven, thanks for visiting. I meant that the well-fledged young 'uns were standing with their beaks about an inch away from the food on the bird table (see picture)but were waiting for the parent bird to peck the food and put it in their beaks.

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  10. Great set of shots. The juveniles have been very demanding here - such a noisy set of creatures - but they are slowly starting to fend for themselves.

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  11. Hi Toffeeapple, they do have good entertainment value, don't they?

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  12. Hi John, I've seen your 'brat-pack' pictures - we've only got a single family!

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