While pumping gas I heard a commotion above and looked up to discover a whole society of European starlings. There were about 10 I could see perched on the pipes and whipping in and out of girders where they have made their homes.
From far away they may be mistaken for crows but if you take a closer look you can see they have orange beaks and white specks on their wing tips as well as some iridescence.
By the time I was able to grab my camera they had mostly disappeared from sight with the exception of a couple on the electrical wires nearby.
They make some strange loud noises! They are also known for their ability to mimic many other birds. In fact this ability plays a role in Shakespeare’s Henry IV. As their name suggests, they are not native to North America. All North American Starling are descendants of 100 birds released into Central Park by Shakespeare fanatics 130 years ago!
- Interesting facts and sound recording at All About Birds
- More about Starlings in the US and Shakespeare from Scientific America
- Shakespeare’s Henry the IV, Part 1