Monday, February 4, 2008

Across the Pond

“The king forbade my tongue to speak of Mortimer. But I will find him when he is asleep, and in his ear I’ll holler ‘Mortimer!’ Nay I’ll have a starling shall be taught to speak nothing but Mortimer, and give it to him to keep his anger still in motion.”

This is a quote from Shakespeare’s “Henry IV” and notable for being the reason we have so many starlings in North America today.

Eugene Schieffelin was a wealthy drug manufacturer and head of the Acclimation Society of North America. His mandate was to introduce plants and animals to the New World. Fanatical about the Bards work, he attempted to bring in every bird mentioned in his plays and poems.
Thrushes, skylarks, nightingales, house-finches, for better or worse, not all survived, but the 60 starlings released in New York’s Central Park in 1890 thrived and multiplied. And multiplied….. after only 30 years they could be found coast to coast. Being relatives of the mynah bird, starlings can be taught to whistle tunes and talk.

We do get a lot of birds where we live, so we encourage them by making sure we feed them year round.

We had the pleasure of witnessing some starlings teaching their offspring how to feed, and were lucky enough to catch a short video of the family all clamoring to be fed on the suet feeder. It was funny that here were the birds perched on the food source, and not knowing how to eat, they had to be shown. Trying to show 3 & 4 not so small young ones all at the same time, is no picnic for the poor mother. We apologize for the quality of the shoot.
Also shown in the video are Goldfinches which breed in this area and a shot of doves ~ the wife had to tap on the window to make the finches fly off like that!

C'ya

Starlings

20 comments:

shooting star said...

i dunno much about starlings....but nice video!!!

Julie at Virtual Voyage said...

What a lovely video, Eric - very nice piece of work; and nice touch getting them to fly off at the end!

swenglishexpat said...

Eric, nice pictures. Clever idea to introduce all birds old Bill mentioned!

drips of paint said...

hi Eric

photobucket is down on maintenance, will check it out later...

what a great looking lion/picture on your side bar.

have a good day:)

Eric Valentine said...

Hello Shooting Star, nice of you to visit, do call again, glad you enjoyed the video. :)

Eric Valentine said...

Glad you enjoyed the video Julie, getting them to fly wasn't a problem. LOL :)

Eric Valentine said...

Hi Swen my friend, thank you for the compliment.

That was the wifes idea about the birds, being informative is what it's all about.. :)

Shameless said...

Hi Eric ... I didn't know that about Shakespeare's birds! :-) I see Photobucket is down at the moment but I will come back for the video! :-)

Eric Valentine said...

Hi Seamus, sorry about the link being down, it was still down last check, good seeing you though my friend. :)

I didn't know about Shakespeare's birds either until I read about it you never know these things eh.. :)

Eric Valentine said...

Hi Tim, sorry you missed the video this time around, the links still down for maintenance. :)

Margie said...

Hi Eric
That was a wonderful treat for me!
Thank you so much!
I am such a bird lover!
I loved it!

Margie

Eric Valentine said...

Margie! Good to see you are back, hope your w/end went well.

Glad you liked the birds antics, I watch for hours in the summer.. :)

zirelda said...

I absolutely love your choice of music Eric. My mother loves songbirds but hates starlings. She says they are bullies. Still, they are God's creatures are they not?

Nice video.

Eric Valentine said...

I think most wildlife can be quite entertaining at times Zirelda, ther are big & little bullies, you should see the purple finches go at it, but we enjoy them immensely.

Yes the music is pretty good, we like it very much.. :)

newnorth said...

silly birds :p nice vid Eric.

Eric Valentine said...

Thanks Newnorth, silly but fun LOL :)

Singing Stream said...

Wonderful video Eric...I enjoyed that so much. Thank you my dear friend. :)

Eric Valentine said...

Glad you enjoyed it Singing Stream, and it just takes the simple things with nature.

Thanks for the visit. :)

Karen Bastille said...

Hi Eric
You've been tagged. (sorry...)
Visit my blog for instructions.
http://justmorewords.com

Eric Valentine said...

Hi Karen, ironically I was already Tagged by Swenenglish.

Fortunately it is the same tag about the books, this way then I can do two birds with one stone.. :)