Every morning (and then again a few times later in the day) we are visited by a group of boisterous birds who come to eat figs from the trees in our yard. The brown Turkey figs have been done for weeks now, but the white figs started to ripen in the last week or two, and these birds are having a field day!
They are dark and glossy – nearly black – and covered in what look like what spots all over – belly, wings, and back. They are LOUD when they land to feed, but sometimes we’ve seen them perched in the tops of the trees when they must have had their fill, and they sing a short but lovely high-pitched sing-songy tune.
After looking through nearly every online bird identification site I could find and trying to pinpoint these birds by silhouette, bill shape and length, size, coloration, habitat, etc, (with no luck!) I have finally found our bird by looking through every single bird listed as living in New York at http://www.whatbird.com.
Welcome, European Starling!
If I’m right and they are starlings, then it sounds like we can expect them to lost their “spots” when they molt those feathers next spring and become sleek, glossy, iridescent black/purple/green.
According to http://www.natureali.org,
“the “American Acclimatization Society” for European settlers introduced 60 European Starlings in New York City’s Central Park in 1890 and 40 more in 1891. The chief champion of these introductions was Eugene Scheiffelin, who desired to introduce all birds ever mentioned in the works of William Shakespeare to the United States.”
Now it sounds like the birds have become invasive pests. Hmm. We still like their rambunctious show each morning. There are worse things to wake up to (pumped up bass reggaeton blasting from a car….honking…someone’s cell phone conversation under your window…) Let me tell you we don’t miss those things ONE BIT at our new place. I will wake up to birds breakfasting on our figs any day! Go starlings!