Saturday, April 27, 2019

European Starling at Stonewall Mine

European Starlings have been part of the North American bird fauna for over 70 years. Yes, they severely misplaced native secondary cavity nesting birds (especially bluebirds) in many areas as they spread rapidly in sky-covering flocks. In most areas starlings have now reached equilibrium with the native birds. After 70 generations, perhaps it's time to consider that starlings are now "native"?

European Starlings don't seem to me to be nearly as abundant in San Diego as they are in more northerly cities, such as Portland, Oregon. There evening fall flocks of roosting starlings number into the multiple 10's of thousands. Why, I didn't even include this species in the 30 most common backyard birds of San Diego!

Even if we have some animosity at what they did to native bird populations (through no fault of their own--it was people who encouraged and released them), can we at least take a moment to consider that at times, if we look without bias, starlings can be quite beautiful?

European Starling
European Starling. April 7, 2019. Stonewall Mine, California.

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