This season I’ve been surprised by the continuous visit of the European Starling in my backyard. They’ve been here before but only in counted occasions. Now I can see them almost daily and not only foraging from the ground in grassy areas, pecking on grubs or other bugs but also getting seeds from the feeders… this I’ve never seen before.
E. Starling are well known in all the USA but I’d like to give you a bit of history about these birds in case that you are not familiar with them.
“The European Starling was introduced into North America when the “American Acclimatization Society” for European settlers released some 80-100 birds in Central Park (New York City) in 1890-91. The head of this particular organization, Eugene Scheiffelin, desired to introduce all birds ever mentioned in the works of William Shakespeare.
Note: Since its introduction into North America in 1891, European Starling populations have grown to over 200 million birds and they can now be found coast to coast and in Alaska.”
Their introduction to other Continents was initially a great help for the Agricultural Industry to help rid of a number of pests that was very unfavorable to fruit and vegetables crops. Unfortunately, their prolific reproduction amounted to large flocks that not only would eat the pests but also would eat the crops that farmers tried to save. The E. Starling was deemed as pest themselves.
Text and photographs © HJ Ruiz – Avian101