Drat! Starlings

A Starling taking off from a telephone wire with straw in its beak. Well, a few weeks ago, I put up a post about building a bird house. Birdhouses are made of particular dimensions to attract, or discourage, certain species of birds. Originally, I wanted to make a Flicker sized nest box, but we decided against it because it’s also the ideal size for European Starlings, invasive birds that occasionally displace other birds from their nests. So we made a nest box the right size for a Chickadee or a Titmouse. I was so looking forward to putting up a post with the title “Come See My Tits.” Surely, I would get tons of hits. To make a long story short, I saw some dried leaf stems and other items sticking out from the bottom, so I suspected that someone had taken up residence. I watched for a little while one afternoon and soon saw a Starling on a nearby wire. The entrance should have been too small for a Starling. Male Starlings build a nest and then start looking for a mate. Sure enough, Mr. Starling had a Mrs. a few days later. Then I saw one of them taking the nesting materials out of the nest. Soon, the two of them were extremely busy for a couple of days bringing bits that looked like straw into the nest. I guess the Mrs. wanted to redecorate. They actually do have a bit of trouble getting inside the small hole. It typically takes two or three tries for them to get in. However, the nearby telephone wire seems to help quite a bit. Oh, well, you know what they say. “Location, location, location.”

A Starling sitting on top of a nestbox, looking at the entrance.

A Flicker sat on a branch nearby watching his new neighbor.

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