[Tweeters] starling invasion

LDavey at aol.com LDavey at aol.com
Sat Sep 29 15:09:01 PDT 2007

Dennis & Tweets:
Over the past few minutes, I have seen the very same thing with  regard to 
the flocks of Starlings. And the noise! My goodness, we haven't seen  this in a 
few years around our place. Yesterday, after mowing the lawn, I saw a  sudden 
rush of robins running around. After a quiet summer, I'm enjoying  this.  
Linda Davey
on Pine Lake
Sammamish, WA
In a message dated 9/29/2007 1:31:48 PM Pacific Daylight Time,  
dennispaulson at comcast.net writes:

Hello,  tweets.  

I have been watching a rather unusual event on this stormy day. A couple  of 
hours ago, starlings started coming into the immediate neighborhood in  
hordes. I've seen very few this summer, the fewest ever in the yard and at the  
feeders, perhaps because the trees keep growing up, and I think of starlings  as 
open-country ground foragers. But this morning, they descended in flocks on  
all the conifer trees around here. Any time I looked out the window, I could  
see starlings flying over and foraging among the branches of western red  
cedars, Douglas-firs, and western hemlocks in and around the yard. They  crawled 
around on the branches and poked into the needles constantly, more  like parrots 
or crossbills than how I picture starlings foraging. If I saw one  bird doing 
that, I wouldn't think much of it, but they were all doing it. The  majority 
were young birds, still with brown heads, but many were either adults  or 
immatures that had completed their prebasic molt. There were small numbers  of 
robins mixed in with the flights, but they weren't foraging in the  conifers.

Is this something they just do at this time of year? I've never seen  
anything like this. There are still some around, although the flocks have  mostly 
departed. They came from the south, and they returned to the south, as  far as I 
could tell. Were they coming from and returning to a particular  roost? 

Another point of interest to me is that we have far more House Finches in  
the yard than I have ever seen before, up to 1-2 dozen at all times eating us  
out of house and home. I guess they had a very good year in the  neighborhood.

Meanwhile, a mature male and a female or immature Western Tanager came to  
the fountain in the past 10 minutes while I was looking out at the starlings.  
It kills me to think of all the migrants that visit there briefly when I'm not  
looking out!

Dennis Paulson
1724 NE 98 St.
Seattle, WA 98115
_dennispaulson at comcast.net_ (mailto:dennispaulson at comcast.net) 


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