Saturday, March 7, 2009
STARLINGS KICK THE TIRES
With the last few evening being a little milder, and barely a breeze, I stepped out my back door to stand for a reflective moment in the twilight air. But all was not quiet at that late hour. A starling was busy checking out my neighbor's purple martin house. I could hear the almost frantic metallic scrabblings of her (or maybe his - I don't know who handles the main house hunting duties among starling couples) feet against the metal structure. That colony nest house hasn't been cleaned out in years, maybe decades, so I wondered what all the fuss was about. Do starlings have the ability to understand the concept of "making room"? Was the bird trying to move used nest material around to create more living space for this year? Or perhaps was even trying to evict some of the old twigs, and start over? These are questions I don't have any answers for, but maybe one of you readers will know.
This will be my fourth spring at this lake shore location. When I first moved in, a robin was nesting in a well-sheltered and concealed spot over the same neighbor's downspout. For the next two years the nest was relined and reused, until it was abandoned, probably because it finally got to be too tall to the limited space under the eaves. It's such a prime nesting spot, I'm tempted to try and knock the old nest down, so it can be reused. The job would take a step ladder and maybe a good stout stick. Would any starlings in the yard wonder what on earth I was doing?