Sunday, 28 October 2012


Over the last couple of weeks, as the weather starts to get colder and the daylight hours shorter (in other words Winter 's on its way!),  I've noticed that the Starlings that have been visiting my garden feeders in ones and twos have now started to band together into ever larger flocks or, in the case of my feeders, raiding parties!

Now, the general idea is that they flock together for safety and warmth while roosting for the night. But being the best of friends and snuggling up cosy and warm during the night may be one thing during the day while searching for food and even taking a bath it's a different matter's everyone for his/her self!

A couple of days ago I was fortunate to have the video camera to hand when one of these raiding parties descended onto my garden and feeders.  It was around 3.30 in the afternoon on a dark and gloomy day so not the best of light but it does show how manic and frenzied the life of a Starling is!

Unfortunately, as I was shooting the video through closed patio doors, the sound of the squabbling  and bickering is not very clear but if you turn up the sound on your computer you can just about make it out over the sound of the camera.  Also I've not edited the video, it's real time as it happened, so is quite long!

Before the video here are a few images taken on the same day and again taken through the patio window.


ADRIAN said...

The most entertaining of birds.
Great first shot.

Bob Bushell said...

Fantastic shooting, I love the fourth one, superb.

The Herald said...

Thank you Adrian, I could (I do!) sit and watch them for hours...[;o)

Thanks Bob...[;o)


Great film clip Trevor, that last Starling wanted the bird bath all to himself by the look of it.


The Herald said...

Thanks Peter, I guess somebody has to have the last of the bath[;o)

p.s. as I write this the 'raiding party' has just descended into the garden once again!!

holdingmoments said...

Great birds to watch; and a great video Trevor.
It's a wonder they get any feeding done with all that squabbling.

The Herald said...

Thanks Keith, I never tire of sitting and watching all the fighting and squabbling. It can't be very efficient though...I mean, all that wasted energy!

And the Starlings, they must waste no end of energy with all that rushing around!!...[;o)

ShySongbird said...

Great photos and video Trevor, frenzied was definitely the word :-) They behave just the same in my garden and I always know when they've been in the birdbath, they make it dirtier than any other bird! Having said that though, I don't see them in my garden as much as I used to which I suppose sadly, bears out their declining national figures.

Andrew said...

Superb captures of these wonderful birds Trevor. I haven't had many in my garden this year which is unusual.

The Herald said...

Thank you Jan. Yeh, I know what you mean, and the birdbath always needs refilling after they've gone!! They must be bucking the trend around here, as they don't seem to be much in[;o)

Thanks Andrew, do you want some of mine?...[;o)

grammie g said...

Hi Trevor...Oh my those birds are hyper aren't they !!
I like there markings, and your close up's are wonderful... the video had me laughing like a fool!! They are so comical to watch!! We get hoards of them in the spring, and early summer!!
They descend on the ground like a cloud under the feeders and on the feeders, with loud squawking voices...and clean you out and move on to the next neighbors
feeders!!: )))


The Herald said...

Hi Grace. Hyper is the word, there's never a dull moment when those Starlings decend into my yard, I could watch them for hours. I'm clad they brought some laughter into your day...[;o)

Stay safe.

Is Sandy going to pose any problems in your area?

Roy said...

Some great images of this much maligned bird Trevor. In their various 'uniforms' we tend to ignore them a lot of the time, but they are so colourful.

The Herald said...

Thanks Roy, Yeh, stunning birds, if looked at in the right light!...[;o)