Starlings

I thought hanging a fat-filled coconut on a natural-looking stick pruned from the field maple last year would attract bluetits and other small birds. It did – but the local starlings saw it too, and spent the morning fighting over it. Red-listed by the RSPB because of declining numbers, starlings are still common in gardens, and voracious eaters!

Starling

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7 Responses to “Starlings”

  1. I love starlings. We hardly ever get them…. (or sparrows) even though we get bullfinches and goldcrests! Did you make up the fat recipe yourself or buy it? I could do with a few of them dotted around my garden, the woodpeckers and long tailed tits would love em. Jane

  2. Hi Jane, I’m not the enterprising sort that melts fat into containers etc – I just picked these up from the local garden centre. I think they contain peanut flour and sunflower seeds as well as fat.

    We had a surprise a few minutes after the starling shot – a huge black bird (I think a juvenile rook, just possibly a crow) had a go at the coconut. Surprisingly agile for its size, I had no idea they could do this. Of course I’d put the camera away by then!

    Bob

  3. You can edit comments on your own blog, can’t you?

    Anyway i love starlings too, always have – even when i was little, and my mother used to complain about too many of them in the garden… before they were in decline, obviously. For a ‘plain’ bird they have such lovely rich colours in their plumage. Thanx for this fine photo. I wonder if your big black bird could have been a raven? They seem to be on the up. (I don’t know that, it’s only hearsay.)

    Your post has reminded me that i wrote a poem a while back, Speaking starling, and you’ve prompted me to dig it out and blog it. So thanx doubly. ;0)

  4. Thanks, mand. I like starlings, too – but I don’t think they are too popular in Rome right now!
    I think the black bird was too small for a raven, but it seems that crows will turn up in gardens sometimes. Very handsome bird – hope it’ll be back.
    Found out how to edit comments (buried deep in the “help” forums) so I’ll fix the flower/flour thing

    Bob

  5. Love that vid!

    We get crows – but then our garden is more or less IN the fields. Hope yours (whatever it was) does return.

    Guess what – peanuts do Love that vid!

    We get crows – but then our garden is more or less IN the fields. Hope yours (whatever it was) does return.

    Guess what – peanuts do flower! (being plants, of course…)

  6. Tha’ts an innovative and cost effective feeder Bob. I only wish he had given you one more half turn of his head

  7. @bramblejungle,

    In the amazing happenstance way of the web, ten minutes after reading your black bird sighting in Rome, and your comment about how starlings are not too popular in Rome just now, I came across a report (Nov 24) titled
    In Rome, Starling Stalkers Try to Scare the Birds Out of Town
    Mr. Albarella Follows Flocks Home to Roost, Then Blasts a ‘Heart-Rending Scream’

    at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122748681405851845.html
    (Wall Street Journal)
    They have a photo of a starling, nowhere near as good as the one on Hagbourne’s site here!

    I wasn’t searching on starlings, it was a link on a page about krill harvests and penguins.

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