There are a number of reasons why I decided to take on this project. My first reason has to do with my interest in birds. This began shortly after moving to Victoria ten and a half years ago. With our house backing onto a wooded area, the chirping of birds is a familiar sound all year long. I often glance out the window to see birds of all forms in the yard throughout the day. Frequently I will pull out the Birds of Victoria or Birds of North America reference guides we have on hand. Unfortunately, the drawings in the first aren’t overly helpful for identification and the number of entries in the second is overwhelming. My second reason has to do with a photography course I took a number of years ago. Since that time I have been trying to think of a practical reason to buy a new camera. Taking pictures of birds requires a powerful zoom lens which my previous point-and-shoot camera could not accommodate. Perfect! My final reason was my desire to take on a new project to welcome in 2011. Hence, bird of the day was born.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

European Starling

Sturnis vulgaris

Long, slender yellow bill
Long throat feathers
Short tail
Pink legs and feet
Summer: (below)
Purple and green iridescent
Brown with white spots

Listen to its calls.

Common as these birds may be, I'd never seen one until today. I had the impression that starlings were large, and black. I seem to have been wrong on both counts. This bird was smaller than the robins sharing our neighbour's lawn with it and, although it looked black from a distance, close up it was actually brown stipled with white spots.

Learn more about the European Starling.

Additional photos:


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