Sunday, February 12, 2006

20. European Starling

The Latin name for these birds is Sturnus vulgaris. Vulgaris. I think that about sums up the Starling's reputation. It runs poor Purple Martins from their territory. It pokes around in piles of trash. It seems to be unable to care less whether it is in an open field, or an urban wasteland. They are pests. Flocking together in the millions. From a mere 100 birds imported into New York City just over 100 years ago, there are now more than 200 million.

Okay, Okay, Okay.

But it's not really the Starling's fault, is it? We were the ones who imported them. Idiots.

And every morning lately, when I duck out for coffee, there will be a few scampering about on the roof of the house on the corner, singing their robotic songs. And thanks to the Eurpean Starling, I'm one-fifth of the way there, and it isn't even March.

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