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The Invaders (Part 2): Starling

Starlings can gather in HUGE flocks, as seen in this image by Tanya Hart

The European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) was introduced in Central Park, NY in the 1890s, by some Shakespeare lovers (a group called the American Acclimatization Society), who wanted to bring to the United States all birds mentioned in William Shakespeare’s works.

Starlings quickly spread and became a “nuisance” bird.  They can form really, really large flocks (think of a huge cloud of smoke in the sky), and I find it amazing how coordinated and synchronized each individual birds is! If you haven’t seen a video of massive starling flocks, look it up!

Starlings are cavity-nesters (they nest in holes) and can aggressively out-compete other, native cavity-nesting birds like woodpeckers and purple martens.

They are voracious eaters, and their diet includes invertebrates, insects, fruits, berries, grains, seeds, and garbage.

Watch the video and see if you can guess, by watching the starling’s behavior, the exact point on the lawn where the Worm is located before the starling picks it out. At what time in the video does the starling find the worm?

ANSWER: At 0:36 the starling pinpoints the worm. You can tell because his beak becomes concentrated in that one spot, in a frenzied effort to pull the worm out. The starling goes around in circles, legs spread out, rear end in the air (:D). The starling catches the worm and flies off with it, because it had a nest with babies to feed.

This post first appeared on Explorethebirdworld, please read the originial post: here

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The Invaders (Part 2): Starling


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