Clever, Corrugated Starlings

Starling Singing in Seattle

I refuse to persecute starlings for the same reason I shoot with Olympus gear: I like to assess things on a case by case basis. With Olympus, I’m in the photographic minority, adopting the four-thirds format in 2008 to the disappointment of friends who pushed hard for either Canon or Nikon. With starlings, I am […]

[Bird] Towel Optional

Starlings bathing in a puddle

A European Starling preens in a communal bath on the Seattle waterfront as a juvenile Starling wanders into the splash zone. This bird bath was a series of long, narrow puddles at the edge of a bike path, visited at various times by Starlings, crows, finches and sparrows. Each time a cyclist buzzed by, the […]

These Are Not Leaves

Click for Larger Image - ©ingridtaylar

My loose homage to Rene Magritte. They were so quiet, fluttering in the wind just like the leaves. Not even the softest Starling whistle came from that tree. When you’ve birded or photographed enough, or sometimes even just a bit, it’s wonderful how the slightest anomaly then draws the eye. This was more than slight, […]

Cleaning House

Starling Removes Waste Droppings from Nest

Much-maligned but still loved by me, a European Starling makes the drop: grubs for breakfast, in the door; baby droppings out the door. The parent carries the nestlings’ waste out through the portal, drops it in the shrubs nearby, then forages again in the grass for the babies’ next meal of insects. Because Starlings, en […]

The Lady Fairer

Starling with Insects

Have you seen her all in gold Like a queen in days of old? She shoots colors all around, Like a sunset going down, Have you seen the lady fairer? I know Mick didn’t have Starlings in mind when he sang that. For those who don’t have a frame of reference for the song, the […]

Not-So-Ordinary Black Birds

Iridescent Plumage on Starling

Until the esteemed Brewer’s Blackbird Sir Swoops made a name for himself by dive-bombing pedestrians, there’s a good chance he was just one of many birds in black, hopping along the sidewalks of San Francisco without much notice. On first glance, blackbirds and black-colored birds may seem visually ordinary. But closer inspection always renders a […]

How Starlings Colonized the United States (and Other Stories)

Pair of Starlings

William Shakespeare gets a bad rap for all of the Starlings. The story (or rumor) goes that some Victorian-era Shakespeare fans — misguided to be sure — hatched a plan to colonize, on U.S. soil, every bird species featured in Shakespeare’s plays. According to this Scientific American article a group known as the American Acclimatization […]