STARLINGS

European Starling (Seen in The Woodlands, TX)

As you can imagine from this photo, the European starling’s nest is a slovenly mass of twigs and branches. In fact, you could say she’s her own "Slum Lord!"

The European Starling’s bill turns from dark brown to YELLOW during breeding season. This is a female (note pinkish cast at base of lower mandible. The male has a blue cast.)

Due to special muscles, the starling can insert its closed bill into a soft stem or the ground, and then open it! Their eyes then move forward (called "binocular vision") for better forward vision.

These birds walk, rather than hop.

A New York society eccentric, Eugene Schieffelir, devised the scheme of introducing to New York all of the birds mentioned in Shakespeare's plays. The starling is mentioned only once (in "Henry IV"), but was set free in Central Park in March, 1890. By 1942, this bird had reached California; and by 1952, Alaska!