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Garden Delights

A selection of thoughts and ramblings about life in the garden.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star...ling

Today, I took some time off in the garden to just sit and enjoy the local star. Starling, that is. I know, starlings are major pests, along with the European house sparrow, but they are excellent mimics. And mine is truly a star.
He and his mate have, with the help of a few wind storms, managed to tear down all but two sections of the soffet on my house. Last year they took advantage of a wind torn section and started to build nests up there. They build very large nests. Several sections fell just from the weight.
They came back again this spring. Clanking in and out of the eaves. The male sits and guards the nest on the conveniently located electric wires running to the house.
And he sings.
Well, it's not exactly singing. He does impersonations and they are very good. He's got at least 20 different song birds down pat. And he always starts with the same one. His hawk. I'm not quite sure if he's trying to scare the dogs and I away, but he always starts with that one. After he's figured out he's got a permanent audience, he starts the show.
I can only recognize the more common bird calls, but the list is getting longer. Along with the songbird calls, he does crows, ducks, seagulls, the hawk of course, and the most recent one I recognized...a Canadian goose. My husband was outside when I recognized that one, and he got the biggest kick out of listening to it. No quacks that day, just honks.
The starlings at the school I work at are also practiced mimics. One summer I kept hearing someone out on the playground. Every time I went to look, no one was there. But I kept hearing these happy child noises, and I investigated some more. Turned out the sounds were coming from the roof. Where the starlings were. I got a kick out of listening to them during the summers from then on, but it was kind of creepy. Almost like hearing ghosts. All the sounds with no one there. And they even did the screeching metal-on-metal of the swings.
I'm not surprised they're called Starlings.


At 10:53 PM, Blogger Sue said...

My friend Marianne says that one of the benefits of having a blog is that it gets us writing something every day, and that is good for us creatively. You are a great writer. Your story here about the starlings really brings me into your garden.


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