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Why Do They Call Them Starlings? Jan. 27, 2023

The Starling was introduced at New York in 1890 and spread rapidly, reaching Ontario at Niagara Falls in 1914 and Brockville in 1919. The first was seen in Toronto on March 24, 1925 and 5,000 were seen at a Lawrence Park roost on Sept. 3, 1929. (Birds of Ontario)

Starlings have a breeding plumage which shows a yellow bill:

European Starling

and a winter plumage which does not show a yellow bill and gives the impression of stars in a night sky. Hence the name: starling.

European Starling
European Starlings
European Starlings
European Starling
European Starling
European Starlings

About three dozen starlings were at the feeders when I arrived this morning at Wilket Creek Park.

Other birds:

American Robin
Downy Woodpecker (female)
American Robin
Mourning Dove

Park views:

Hornet’s nest

Some botany:

American Beech (Fagus grandifolia)
Swamp White Oak (Quercus bicolor)
Red Pine (Pinus resinosa)
Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis)
Amur Cork Tree (Phellodenron amurense)

Today’s group:


Here are some pictures from today’s walk. I visited The Shops On Don Mills today and the New Balance store had ICEtrekkers on sale for $9.99 (until the store gets rid of all of them I was told). They’re mostly rubber with some metal spikes so I don’t know how durable they are but for that price if they last the season I’ll be happy. Perhaps some other participants may be interested.

Red-bellied Woodpecker


From off your face, into the winds of winter,
The sun-brown and the summer-gold are blowing;
But they shall gleam with spiritual glinter,
When paler beauty on your brows falls snowing,
And through those snows my looks shall be soft-going. – Wilfred Owen

Miles Hearn