Tuesday, 13 October 2009

The Usual Squabblers are Back for the Winter

Birdy Bistro gets very fraught at times. Goldfinches squabbling at one end. Sparrows and Greenfinches in the middle. Now the Starlings are back for the Winter and squabble at the other end. It's a good job they each prefer different food. The Starlings here prefer the fat balls and peanuts.


The horizontal lines in the background are a reflection of a blind at the opposite end of the conservatory as I was shooting through a window.

Often I can hear Starlings in the tall Leylandii but not see any. They continuously make quiet noises and on this video clip of one you can see the throat almost continuously on the move and often the sounds are produced without opening the beak. There are also a few others nearby.

I always find it a fascinating mixture of clicks and whistles. They only seem to fall silent when there is danger and presumably when they are asleep otherwise it seems to be non stop for most of the day.


  1. We loved seeing your blog about starlings today. A number of people don't appear to be very keen on them but we are and we're amazed at their consant chattering and the variety of sounds they make - they really seem very sociable birds. We're also amused at their acrobatic displays as they fly in and land in the tall eucalyptas tree behind our garden and then fly down in mass into the garden.
    By the way, you haven't mentioned Honey in recent posts. Is she still AWOL?

  2. Great starling video. Their vocalizations are very companionable.

  3. When I was gathering rose-hips to make rose-hip and apple jelly reently (the subject of a forthcoming piece) there wwas a very large number of starlings in a nearby Scots Pine and they were VERY noisy, chatting away to one-another. I like your video and pictures.

  4. The photo reminded me of a gentleman in black mayoral ceremonial robes...just call me weird!

    I think Starlings are rather nice entertaining birds as long as they don't bring too many pals with them ;)

  5. I love Starlings. They have beautiful markings/colours and seem to be able to mimic any sound. Sometimes I think I can hear a Buzzard calling over the garden, but it generally turns out to be a Starling being cheeky! They don't get enough attention (unless they are Rose Coloured of course) so well done. I like the video.

  6. Starlings, noisy hooligans of the bird world.
    I love 'em. Great characters, and great mimics.
    Love the video John

  7. Ok John I've offically caught up on your blog.
    1. That's not a very attractive looking frog. I like tree frogs..so small so delicate. The large ones just simply gross me out!!

    2. I totally loved your post on the ladybug and your movie was so neat. Sad to say this but this year I only saw one ladybug...not one in my garden. Then again I had no aphids either....unusual YES.

    3. Ok I need to know what kind of speicies of Starrling you have in your post. We don't have that speices here...So many spots...beautiful really don't you think so John??

  8. What a wonderfully detailed photo of the Starling. Its markings really emphasize its throat action in the video. Fascinating!

    I see you made the newspaper!


  9. Hi Twosie. Starlings can be a nuisance at the feeders when they arrive in large numbers as they are such messy eaters but it is nice to hear then chattering away when they are in the trees.

    Honey is still AWOL. A bit worrying as many nights have been quite mild though most have been wet.

  10. Thank you Wilma. I was quite surprised when I saw just how much time the Starling spends 'singing'. No wonder they are always hungry.

  11. Thank you Emma. They can get noisy at times but when in the Leylandii it is always a quiet murmuring to each other. The rose hip and apple jelly sounds interesting.

  12. Too true Jan. In small doses they are fine, by the score means very noisy trouble.

  13. Thank you Angie. I think many people take Starlings for granted and see them as a nuisance even though their numbers are reported to have fallen dramatically over the years.

  14. Thank you Keith. I remember years ago when trim phones were all the rage and it didn't take the Starlings long to start mimicking them much to the annoyance of people who went inside to answer a silent phone. ;)

  15. Hi Crista. It is not compulsory to read all the posts you know ;) Thanks for taking the time.

    Aww. My poor little frog will get a complex now. I must admit there are some beautifully coloured frogs around the world.

    There have been so very many ladybirds about this year though I can't say I have seen a lot of aphids except for a week in mid Spring.

    That is the European Starling, Sturnus vulgaris, in its Winter speckled plumage. It may be a resident one though thousands fly across the North Sea from Scandinavia and mix with the residents for the Winter.

  16. Hi Glo. Wow, nearly missed this comment. I though I had one I hadn't replied to....

    Brilliant re the newspaper. Somebody's creative juices have been working overtime again ;)


Thank you for visiting. Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Any comment, or correction to any information or identification I get wrong, is most welcome. John

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