European Starling. After almost a year of trying to identify this bird in our Arizona back yard, we determined – with much help from our friends?on the astronomy forum?Cloudy Nights – that it is the common European Starling.
A few of you have no doubt followed our almost obsessive quest to ID this elusive bird. Last year, we had nothing to go on but its call, which sounds something like a party whistle or Spike Jones sound effects – hence our “Pop Slider” nick name.
The birds disappeared around July, confirming they’re migratory. This year we caught their visit earlier in the season, and one morning I found the entire yard filled with an invasion of the little critters. There was no mistaking what kind of bird was making the distinctive sound! Roger Tory Peterson’s “Western Birds” quickly identified the suspect as the European Starling, the good guess of friends as far away as Alabama.
And here we have several of them in a neighbor’s tree. This was shot with the Nikon D70 and handheld 70-300mm zoom, and the image is here cropped to feature them. I really need to start shooting telephotos with a tripod, but this turned out not bad.
Click image for large 1024×768 file.
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