Thursday, March 03, 2011
A Starling in Dundee, I find them to be really beautiful birds, they are great imitators and their song can be changed if near, one can whistle and elaborate sound and sure enough the bird will follow. I had great fun as a younger being playing with them.
Wikipedia has this to say about them.
Starlings are small to medium-sized passerine birds in the family Sturnidae. The name "Sturnidae" comes from the Latin word for starling, sturnus. Starlings occur naturally in the Old World, from Europe, Asia and Africa, to northern Australia and the islands of the tropical Pacific. Several European and Asian species have been introduced to these areas as well as North America, Hawaii and New Zealand, where they generally compete for habitat with native birds and are considered to be invasive species. The starling species familiar to most people in Europe and North America is the European Starling, and throughout much of Asia and the Pacific the Common Myna is indeed common.
Starlings have strong feet, their flight is strong and direct, and they are very gregarious. Their preferred habitat is fairly open country, and they eat insects and fruit. Several species live around human habitation, and are effectively omnivores. Many species search for prey such as grubs by "open-bill probing", that is, forcefully opening the bill after inserting it into a crevice, thus expanding the hole and exposing the prey.
Plumage of many species is typically dark with a metallic sheen. Most species nest in holes, laying blue or white eggs.
Many Asian species, particularly the larger ones, are called mynas, and many African species are known as glossy starlings because of their iridescent plumage.
Starlings have diverse and complex vocalizations, and have been known to embed sounds from their surroundings into their own calls, including car alarms, and human speech patterns. The birds can recognize particular individuals by their calls, and are currently the subject of research into the evolution of human language.