Black-capped Chickadee 2-10-14 Lorain Ohio USA


by Mark E. Schrull

2/10/14 Lorain Ohio – 10 degrees (F) here in South Lorain this morning.  Total cloud cover obscured any sunrise.  This morning visitors included a Black-capped Chickadee, the Downy and the Redheaded Woodpeckers, and those nasty European Starlings.
A1 Black-capped Chickadee 2cr A1 Black-capped Chickadee 1crA1 Red-headed Woodpecker 1cr A1 Downy Woodpecker 1cr

I use the word nasty to describe the Starlings partly because of their behavior and partly because of a built-in dislike of them taught to me by my father.
A1 European Starling 2

My father was a bird watcher.  He always had a bird feeder in the back yard.  I remember him telling me about Starlings when I was a boy.  He considered them a nasty bird which steals crops by the ton, murders and eats the eggs of indigenous song birds, and builds filthy nests in vents and air-conditioners.

He also said they shouldn’t even be on this continent.  He said fools released pairs in New York City’s Central Park.  He was right.  I consulted several reference books which confirm that some time around 1890, several nesting pairs were released.  From those original birds, a “Pandora Box” of gigantic size had been opened.

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