Saturday, 19 May 2007

All quiet now!

Earlier this evening as I looked out my window the trees and plants were still blowing in the wind. The light was fading fast and all was quiet – but what a noise was heard today in my garden. Squawk, squawk, squawk! I never heard the noise from inside but I did notice a bird through my window which I initially didn’t recognise. However when I went outside it was definitely not quiet.



What was this bird sitting on my pine tree? Well if you haven’t guessed it is a juvenile Starling! I have never noticed one in my garden before and today we saw four. They would sit squawking with beaks open waiting for parents to come and feed them – even when they were standing on the sunflower hearts! They even opened their beaks at a passing Blackbird – silly things. They were all very amusing to watch.

They waddled like ducks and when the wind blew at their fluffy feathers they even looked like large ducklings. However, they did have the instinct to drink and found all sources available and one even tried to have a bath. The bather acted even more like a duckling when it slipped down into the pond and had to skim across the surface to safety – more than once!




Poor parents were stalked by groups of their offspring who almost outsized them. It really was funny to watch - they even followed them in flight. I looked up my reference book and read that it is five weeks before these juvenile’s will be independent - poor parents. The video below captures one of many feeding moments.

Parent Starling feeding young, video 0:27 with squacking juvenile, try 480p quality.

2 comments:

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Thanks for this post Shirl, I can relate to it as I have baby starlings in my garden too and what a lot of noise they make. One is so curious it came quite close up to me (no camera unfortunately) so I could almost touch it.

And there's a wren nesting in my hedge at the potager. I had bought it a special nesting box but no, the hedge it had to be. :-)

shirl said...

Hi again, Yolanda

Very interesting to hear that you too have baby Starlings at the moment in your garden in the Netherlands. Yes, they appear to have no fear. When I went out with the camera the parents flew off but they stayed, waddled around and enjoyed the bursts of sunshine through the clouds.

Envious of your Wren nesting – I built special caves and pockets in the stones that surround my small pond especially for it. As you say they have their own ideas! I had a reader comment that she had one trying to build its nest in the casing of an outdoor socket – the power was then switched off!