An extended family of starlings blew in with Monday’s gale.
The clan includes a number of juveniles — one can tell from their grayish-brown color, slightly smaller and plumper stature and behavior.
These young starlings behave like some teenagers you may know. They constantly demand to be fed. When not demanding to be fed, they are eating. They cluster in groups, awkwardly bumping into each other and stumbling over each other. They are very noisy. They ride around the deck on skateboards.
I made up that last sentence.
The main target for the adults is the suet cake. Now that the woodpeckers have gotten it started, the older starlings are finding it a little easier to get at the suet, and its size is decreasing rapidly. The younger starlings aren’t quite getting the hang of it, so they just keep begging.
Starlings aren’t my favorite birds, but they are smart and fascinating to watch, particularly in smaller numbers.
On a warmer day recently, I was sitting on the deck reading. An adult starling perched on the apple tree and gave me its repertoire of songs, squawks and various other sounds. It was really quite a concert. It never seemed to repeat itself.
It reminded me of Mozart’s pet starling, which was able to sing a theme from Mozart’s Piano Concerto in G — albeit the starling sang it in G sharp.
Starlings singing Mozart? Hummingbirds that hum because they don’t know the words? Send your bird observations and pictures to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.