Daily Archives: February 10, 2021

New to the yard: Starling

European Starling: Kennebunk, Maine, USA — As I have mentioned before, we do not have many Starlings in southern Maine…nothing like the mass flocks you see elsewhere. Here in Kennebunk I know of no location to reliably see them…though there are sometimes a few mixed in with flocks of Robins. The past two days we have had one coming to our mealworm feeder. I have mixed feelings about that. In mass, Starlings are aggressively messy birds that take up space that might otherwise be occupied by some native species. And lest we forget, they are forever “European Starlings”, never to be at home here in America. Individually, they are actually quite beautiful, with their iridescent greens and purples over that speckled black…almost tropical in their colorations…with an interesting sculpted quality to the feathers. As yard birds go, I certainly would not like to entertain a flock of them…and I have to say, even this single bird has me worried for my mealworm outlay. I buy the expensive mealworms for my Bluebirds, and don’t begrudge the titmice and chickadees the occasional raid, but the Starling will sit on the perch for an hour at time, keeping even the Bluebirds away, and literally empty the feeder in a sitting. That I can not afford to be complacent about. So, while I can enjoy the beauty of the bird, and am happy to have one more yard bird, I will drive it off the mealworm feeder whenever I see it. Perhaps a little gentle discouragement will be enough. 🙂 This shot was taken during a snowstorm yesterday, through the thermopane deck door, so it looses some sharpness. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 1000 @ f4 @ 1/500th. +1 EV exposure compensation.