Thursday, February 18, 2010

European Starling

I recently read King Henry IV Part 1, which is the play in which Shakespeare mentions the Starling (Act I, Scene 3, Line 235), indirectly prompting their introduction into North America. In that section, Shakespeare draws upon the Starling's talent for mimicking words or sounds.

This individual is in breeding plumage, or is at least transitioning to breeding plumage. Note the yellow bill and oily, iridescent black chest. Adult non-breeding plumage individuals have black bills and are intricately spotted on the breast. They are quite pretty, whatever else they may be. (I like the red legs. I had not noticed them before.)

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