In Europe a flock of Starlings can darken the sky.

In Europe a flock of Starlings can darken the sky.

Thank Shakespeare for the Starlings in the backyard

Get some “Cheep Trills” with Princeton’s John Moody

Introduced from Europe in the late 1800’s The Starling has flourished along side us, becoming one of our most abundant songbirds.

During the fall the Starling loses its glossy iridescent plumage, and changes to a white spotted pattern. A beautiful bird to look at, it has caused problems for our native birds, most notably taking over the cavity nesting sites of birds like our own Western Bluebird.

In their native Europe flocks of these birds can be so huge that they darken the skies. Living as a kid just outside of London in the 1960’s I can remember well the huge “murmurations” of these birds, and the sound of them as they wheeled in the sky.

To see hundreds of thousands of Starlings all change direction in a split second, made them seem as though they were just a single living thing.

Apparently the Starling was introduced to fulfill a plan to bring to North America all the birds mentioned in the plays by Shakespeare.