Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 2 (2 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Stats   2 comments

OpEdNews Op Eds

A starling taught to speak

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 1   Well Said 1   Valuable 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H3 4/6/09

Become a Fan
  (6 fans)
While sitting in my kitchen the other day, I heard a beautiful and astonishingly complex bird call. Tiptoeing over to the window, I spied a European Starling perched on my sill—its throat vibrating as it sang its tiny heart out.

After pigeons and sparrows, starlings seem to be the most common birds in New York City but I know so little about them. I remedied that with some quick Web surfing and learned that the song I heard is a combination of "warbling, gurgling, chirruping and clicking noises," and these birds will often imitate many other species (animals as well as birds), along with man-made sounds like car alarms and telephones. A group of starlings is known as a "constellation" or a "filth" or a "murmuration" or a "scourge" or a "vulgarity." Whatever term you may use, starling flocks often number in the tens of thousands.

I also learned that every European Starling in North America "descended from 100 birds released in New York's Central Park in the early 1890s. A group dedicated to introducing America to all the birds mentioned in Shakespeare's works set the birds free." Thanks to this dimwitted idea, you can now find over 200 million European Starlings across much of North America.

Finally, I learned that the US Department of Agriculture has named the European Starling and invasive species because it "competes with native species and destroys crops." Also, critics say, large flocks can "overwhelm buildings and trees with a large scale buildup of feces where the uric acid content causes corrosion to stone, metal, and masonry. Gutters and down pipes clogged with starling nests often become blocked, leading to water damage. Bacteria, fungus, and parasites in the feces pose a health risk."

I don't know about you, but I'd rather live in a world where…
a) A resilient mimic of a bird is valued above stone, metal, and masonry
b) Humans are the species correctly labeled "invasive" and a "health risk"

Until the laws are changed or the power runs out, Mickey Z. can be found on the Web at http://www.mickeyz.net />

 

http://www.mickeyz.net

Mickey Z. can be found on the Web at http://www.mickeyz.net.

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

Go To Commenting
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles
Related Topic(s): , Add Tags

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Five reasons why Americans won't resist

The Topic of Cancer

"We need to stop this culture before it kills the planet": A conversation with Derrick Jensen

Myth America: A Stand-up Tragedy

Downsize or Modify? A Conversation with Noam Chomsky

Animal rights, ecofeminism, and rooster rehab

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
2 people are discussing this page, with 2 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

know they are Starling's?  Do they know t... by shadow dancer on Monday, Apr 6, 2009 at 11:39:15 PM
What do the starlings call themselves and their ki... by Nana P. on Tuesday, Apr 7, 2009 at 8:09:11 AM