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January 30th 2011    Tim Candler

    When Starlings cut away from the winter flock to inspect a Bluebird box, it is safe for a person to think that sap is rising.  Then if the rain stops for a week or two and weather stays warm, Starlings like to block the downspouts in rain gutters with grass and twigs.

    It is not intended to be serious nesting. They do this purely for their own entertainment, because for Starlings there is no better theatre than to watch people fall off ladders.

    And it is understandable that theatre should play a role in the imagination of Starlings in the USA.  Rumor is the first of them were imported so that all  birds mentioned by Shakespeare could be found in New York's Central Park.

    Always worth remembering that Shakespeare knew what a Turkey was. "Here he comes swelling like a turkey-cock."  He'd have seen them imported to farmyards and market places and he may even have feasted upon one or two.    

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