Local Starling Resurgence

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Re: Local Starling Resurgence

Postby John Pilkington » Sun May 08, 2016 8:43 pm

During this morning's feeding frenzy, about half a dozen of the visitors were clearly gathering up beaks full of meal-worms and flying off with them, rather than gobbling them down on site. One particular bird, easily recognised from a small light-coloured feather protruding through its primary wing feathers, visited six times within a few minutes, each time departing towards our neighbour's roof tiles with a full load. I can only assume that some of our starlings are now feeding nestlings.
John Pilkington
 
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Re: Local Starling Resurgence

Postby John Pilkington » Mon May 23, 2016 10:56 am

First Starling fledglings this season today - 3 plain, mid-brown birds, which in other respects looked like the adults, accompanied 12 adults at this morning's feeding session. One youngster sat with beak wide open and fluttering wings for most of its stay, with at least one adult popping dried meal-worms in as fast as it could. The other 2 seemed to be more independent and were copying the adults in finding their own meal-worms. Have heard that most adults regard their duty having been done as soon as the new brood fledges, so Starling fledglings often have to look after themselves from "day 1".
John Pilkington
 
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Re: Local Starling Resurgence

Postby John Pilkington » Wed Jun 01, 2016 10:01 pm

The arrival of summer has seen the number of local Starling fledglings increase hugely. Yesterday's visitors to the garden numbered 31, including 12 juveniles. At present, few of these youngsters seem to be making much effort to feed themselves; instead, they stand idly around relying on adults to pop something into their open beaks from time to time. One or two do seem to be mimicking their parents, however, and are beginning to search the lawn for food. This afternoon, on another housing estate, about a mile and a half away, we saw 15 juveniles waiting patiently on a roof top for adults to feed them. Some reasonable numbers so far.
John Pilkington
 
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Re: Local Starling Resurgence

Postby John Pilkington » Fri Jul 08, 2016 8:30 pm

Following visits from up to 45 starlings at a time, a mixture of adults and juveniles, it was almost like a "switch was thrown" about 2 weeks ago, after which only 3-4 juveniles visited each day, with no sign of the adults around at all. More recently, a couple of adults have returned, but gone is the cacophony of sound that bathed the garden several times during the day, as the waves of starlings passed through. I'm hoping that they have just found somewhere else to feed for the moment and that many will return later in the year.
John Pilkington
 
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Re: Local Starling Resurgence

Postby John Pilkington » Mon Apr 17, 2017 10:07 am

The number of Starlings visiting the garden for their morning feast of dried meal-worms has fallen from 40+ to around 16 over the last 10 days, but many also search the undergrowth for dried vegetation which they then carry off in their beaks. Clearly, nesting is underway, so perhaps the rest of "my" over-winter group have dispersed around the area to find nesting sites of their own. Will be interesting to see how many return to this easy source of food once nestlings need feeding.
John Pilkington
 
Posts: 167
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2015 9:47 am

Re: Local Starling Resurgence

Postby John Pilkington » Thu Apr 27, 2017 1:09 pm

The daily "flock" of Starling visitors has fallen to about 9 birds now, and this year's pattern of activity seems to be mimicking last year's, albeit about a week or 10 days earlier. About half of this morning's group were collecting food for someone else and departing with beaks overflowing with meal worms or other foodstuffs. Although I can't be sure, because none of them has any clear distinguishing features, these birds seemed to return within a few seconds of departing to collect up some more food, suggesting that their partners or nestlings aren't far away. There were even a few birds who arrived with grubs already hanging out of their beaks to add a few more morsels to the load before flying off. Looks like the local Starlings are having a busy time.
John Pilkington
 
Posts: 167
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