Flying Starlings from www.carlpendle.com on Vimeo.
Great music, great photography, and oh those birds! Watch it all–KSH.
A visual display of why the American Bluebird is quite rare today. I can remember them well when I was a young boy in Illinois. Celebrate diversity. Statmann
Lovely. Thank you for this.
Is this part of the annual event in Scotland? That’s just incredible!
[b]Kudzu with feathers.[/b] One spring morning in 1974 I was birding with a friend in the Yukon, where we were both teachers in a residential high school. I heard it. He spotted it. A starling. The first official sighting.
For a long time we debated shooting the bloody thing, you know, to “prove its presence” but we gave it up as a lost cause, for the starling was introduced to North America only in 1904 — some immigrant Brits in New York City had missed them — and in just seventy years the species had begun to install itself in the farthest reaches of the continent.
Not, I would add, at the expense of the bluebird, who have struggled as wooden fence posts and hollow trees have been swept from the landscape as “inefficient” and “untidy”. We have no shortage of starlings on our farm, but scores of bluebird, including dozens of nesting pairs. The bluebird problem is a habitat problem, especially in parts of the country where dead trees are removed as a “hazard”.
As part of God’s amazing plan, however, bluebird babies, though hatched tiny and altricial (blind and without feathers), are able to fly from the nest, almost fully grown, in less than two weeks. Sometimes nine days. Starlings aren’t their problem.
Yes, Bart, it is a matter off habitat. Both like old woodpecker nests. Given the size of starlings vs bluebirds: guess who wins. Hence, the need for bluebird houses. And this depends on whether any one cares. Personally, I consider Bluebirds beautiful and Starlings just plain ugly. But hey, that’s me. Statmann
Here in western PA, English sparrows, smaller than starlings, are the Eastern bluebirds’ chief competitors for their nesting boxes that have been put out in fields. Split rail fences are rarities now, as are fallow fields left unmown. Still, the starling clouds are beautiful.
A delight! Thanks Kendall! Though I cannot comment upon species competition …