Starlings by the Dozen

European Starling

The single European Starling that I saw earlier this month on the blackberry bush didn’t roam far from its flock.  Just at the other end of the Virginia Street extension, above the Schoolhouse Creek outflow, I photographed nineteen of them up on the electric wires.  Those nineteen were about half of the tribe that soon took to the sky and performed group maneuvers in a small and thin reproduction of the massive sky-darkening murmurations (look it up!) of which this bird is capable.  They then settled among the bushes just north of the creek channel.

Those forty could become four hundred in a year or so, given smooth sailing.  However, the American Crows, who are easily the starlings’ match for brains and resourcefulness, not to mention size, might have something to say about starling nests in their range. The White-tailed Kites, who have raised a brood next door in the Berkeley Meadow, might find starlings a welcome addition to their diet.  Other birds of prey could also play a role.  The starling population will face challenges to its growth.

Nineteen starlings on the wires with three crows

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