Thursday, 16 March 2017

My new neighbour

Meet my new neighbour.  This hole has been in a dead sycamore opposite my front door for several years and has always been home to a pair of starlings (apart from last year when it was used by great tits).  This male starling has laid claim to it and has been carrying out a few renovations in the past couple of weeks.  I expect it was a bit like a student flat inside when he moved in so the first job was to get rid of all the rubbish.

Then he hopped onto a nearby branch to keep an eye on me

before bursting into song.

He sings from several nearby branches,

He also flutters his wings in time with the music.

Sometimes he sits in the hole and sings.

You can tell he's male because of his beak colour.  In the winter it was black but now is bright yellow with a blue base (the female's is pink).  I read that male starlings decorate their nests with flowers and herbs (especially yarrow) to improve the chance of attracting a mate.  If I see him doing that I'll try to get a photo.  I'll also let you know if he strikes lucky.


  1. Didn't know about the gender beak colour differences before. My uncle used to say that starlings were the only birds here that would tackle tent caterpillars.

    1. It's great that the boys are blue and the girls are pink. I'll get a photo of the female when she turns up.