Earlier this evening as I looked out my window the trees and plants were still blowing in the wind. The light was fading fast and all was quiet – but what a noise was heard today in my garden. Squawk, squawk, squawk! I never heard the noise from inside but I did notice a bird through my window which I initially didn’t recognise. However when I went outside it was definitely not quiet.
What was this bird sitting on my pine tree? Well if you haven’t guessed it is a juvenile Starling! I have never noticed one in my garden before and today we saw four. They would sit squawking with beaks open waiting for parents to come and feed them – even when they were standing on the sunflower hearts! They even opened their beaks at a passing Blackbird – silly things. They were all very amusing to watch.
They waddled like ducks and when the wind blew at their fluffy feathers they even looked like large ducklings. However, they did have the instinct to drink and found all sources available and one even tried to have a bath. The bather acted even more like a duckling when it slipped down into the pond and had to skim across the surface to safety – more than once!
Poor parents were stalked by groups of their offspring who almost outsized them. It really was funny to watch – they even followed them in flight. I looked up my reference book and read that it is five weeks before these juvenile’s will be independent – poor parents. The video below captures one of many feeding moments.
Parent Starling feeding young, video 0:27 with squacking juvenile, try 480p quality.