Saturday, February 28, 2009

Two Starlings

Note: This item is from the archives. It was first posted in February, 2007.

Yesterday, these two European Starlings were perched side by side on a branch in our feeder area, and they illustrate well the two different adult breeding stages. The Starling on the left is of an adult nonbreeding status, still displaying its winter, white-flecked plumage; while the one on the right displays characteristics of the adult breeding stage. Differences in the bill colour and plumage patterns can be easily noted. To the right, the adult breeding Starling's bill is yellow, while to the left, the adult nonbreeding Starling's bill has yet to change colour significantly. Also the nonbreeding Starling (left)still displays white dotting on its plumage overall while the white dots of the adult breeding Starling (right) have worn off and the adult breeding Starling now displays a glossy black plumage.
The composite photo to the right shows two Starlings taken at different times of the year; the photo of the Starling on the left was taken on Nov. 5, 2004, and the one on the right was taken February 13th, 2007. On p. 416, of his book, The Sibley Guide to Birds , David Sibley gives the adult nonbreeding period as lasting from Sept - Feb.

9 comments:

Sharon said...

Thank you for posting this again because I didn't see it the first time around. These are such beautiful & interesting birds:)

Tina said...

Very interesting post, always interested in learning..how all is going well with Ann!

Squirrel said...

Love the post! I think Starlings are just darling :-) I even raised one from baby when I was younger. Did you know that they can learn to talk?

Deborah Godin said...

I love starlings, too, snd can never decide which plummage I like best! Enjoyed this post, hadn't seen it before.

ramblingwoods.com said...

I didn't see it the first time either....Thank you...

Becky and Gary said...

So glad your back Ann, and your daughter did a wonderful job of filling in.
We have plenty of Starlings, and they have such beautiful irredescent plumage.
B.

Mary said...

Haven't seen this difference before. The ones that I see always have spots, although I have seen the yellow bill. If this is Ann and not Riel, welcome back!

Kay said...

I've never particularly liked starlings but you have a way of making them look so adorable.

me ann my camera said...

Hello everyone, Thanks for the comments. It's still me Riel posting. I just like to put some of Ann's earlier posts up for an encore once in a while -- as I know when she first started the blog she didn't have as many people stopping in and she has some great posts that didn't get a big audience.