It’s winter time, how could I resist the pun?
I took this picture of a big flock of European Starlings in our yard a few days ago:
They are sort of cool-looking birds but quite disruptive to native bird populations. I found the following interesting (from Missouri Department of Conservation website):
European starlings were released in New York’s Central Park in 1890 by a group that tried to bring to our continent every species of bird mentioned in the works of Shakespeare. By 1950, the starling’s invasion had extended to the Pacific Ocean. This species has successfully colonized much of the world. Ironically, it has been red-listed by conservationists in its native Great Britain, as starling numbers there have declined dramatically in recent decades…Americans love to hate starlings, for their seeming “greed” at birdfeeders, their untidy nests that are often made near human structures, and their large, squawking numbers. Yet humans brought them here, and witnessing their sad effects on native bird species should serve to humble us. (source)