Wednesday, 24 November 2010

ABC Wednesday - S is for Strike

Thanks go to Denise Nesbitt and her Stalwart Squad who organise and host this weekly meme. Click here for more Ss.
Just resting?
One day last week a starling flew into our patio door. It’s unusual at this time of year – generally it’s young, inexperienced spring birds that misjudge the angle at which they need to fly to clear the house.

Bird strike feather imprint on patio glass. I've enhanced it to make the print clearer
Often the birds are just stunned and after twenty minutes, sometimes longer, they have regained their senses and fly off to join their cacophonous friends and relations. Sadly this bird died instantly. We didn’t clear it away immediately and the dogs took no notice of it at all. The next morning the little corpse had disappeared – a ready meal for a passing fox, no doubt.

This morning we had two bird strikes. The first was a woodpigeon that hit the glass and rebounded with no harm but hurt pride and a sense of foolishness. The second was a starling. It, too, bounced off the door and landed on the garden bench where it lay motionless. It’s common for birds to be dazed and take time to recover but this was not to be the case for this little creature. No more would it peck hungrily at the fat cakes or drink from the pond or squabble like a small child with the rest of its flock. No longer would the sun catch its glossy feathers or silhouette it against the sky as it flew swiftly away.
Wing feathers
This is an adult in spotted winter plumage. The feathers are edged in orange-buff 
The blue-based bill indicates that it is a male. Females' bills are pink-based.
Just look at his smart feathery knee breeches . . . 
. . . and his beautiful square tail
It's sad to think that this young fellow will not glory in his green and purple sheened black spring apparel.
Starlings are not exotic but for me they have a beauty and fascination all their own. They are entertaining, gregarious, busy birds and I delight in their antics and their noisy conversations. 

28 comments:

  1. I used to work in a building with lots of transparent-looking windows. About once a week, I'd see some deceased bird. Always made me a little sad.
    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

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  2. I’ve seen similar bird strikes happen. Many do rebound but if they are not fated to recover than instant death is probably best. Your description of what these flying creatures have left behind is beautifully worded. The images of life ended are sad.

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  3. Oh, Janice, what beautiful photos. The poor thing! We've had starlings here the last few years and I love to watch them, particularly when they walk. They make me laugh. But of course I've never seen one in its winter plumage because they have the good sense to leave here long before the snow falls and the temperatures plummet.
    Thank you for a natural history lesson on starling plumage. I, for one, enjoyed it very much.
    -- K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

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  4. I love Starlings. all too often they are dismissed as drab, messy or pests

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  5. Poor little guy. I had a pigeon dive into our window one day. It was stunned and I took it to the local vet. It turned out it was blind. The vet decided to keep it as a pet, for which I was glad.

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  6. Such sad, but marvelous captures, Janice! Poor little guy indeed! That happens around here once in a while, but usually only in the early spring/summer. We do have lots of starlings. Great post for the day!! Thanks for sharing!'

    Sylvia

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  7. Poor little bird. That would have made me sad too. Thank you very much for visiting my blog.

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  8. They are beautiful birds and not as common as they used to be. Maybe the reason is they are all flying into your patio:-).
    I used to work in a glass windowed building overlooking a garden (lucky me, we watched the rabbits and birds), had a similar problem and stuck some swooping birds on the window which seemed to work more or less.

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  9. I love starlings-they are like little bird comedians somehow. It is sad that this one died, but interesting to see its feathers so close up. On holiday last year I was waiting for Andy to go into a shop and a pigeon crashed into the window in front of me and died instantly. It really upset me to see.

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  10. Great closeups - it is a shame when these lovely birds mistake windows for sky and are hurt. It happens often in those huge office buildings.

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  11. What beautiful plumage on this pooor starling. We used to have birds hitting our living room window at one house I lived in. It was always a shock to hear the thud and/or see the near lifeless bodies outside the front door.

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  12. Poor little bird. Now i know how to distinguish these birds if it is female or male. thanks for sharing.

    Thanks also for the visit an comment.

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  13. Oh, poor little bird. It is so beautiful - in all its details!

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  14. great shots
    if u didnt tell us then one will be easily tricked to believe it is ghost or alien fingers.

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  15. Poor wee little starling. We used to get dozens of them at my feeders but they and the grackles disappeared this year. They aren't every one's cup of tea but I used to enjoy them. I still get lots of other birds and even a hawk in my garden a few days ago. The birds always know and disappear until he has gone. I'm never sure if he finds a meal but I would prefer not to know. They are beautiful birds and have to survive too.

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  16. I saw one fly into a shop window a couple of years ago. It was terrible, and not a memory I'm likely to forget.

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  17. Your windows must be far too clean ;-)
    Sad that these beautiful birds didn't survive the blow. We have lots of starlings building their nests under our rooftiles every Spring. Noisy neighbours they are and they make a mess of the roof insulation. Still, I like them and they are very welcome.

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  18. How very striking this bird looks! Thanks for the close up images, they are wonderful!

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  19. I've never been particularly fond of starlings, but it's sad to see them hurt or worse. I remember a couple of birds colliding with our windows, but they seemed to just be dazed and then flew off again. We've never had a bird colliding with the windows here in Hawaii, however. I wonder why.

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  20. Oh, poor little fellow! We have "starling strikes" on our patio from time to time. About half of the time, the little things are just stunned, and they get up and fly away.

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  21. You certainly gave these hapless birds a lovely tribute, Janice. Nice photos to show the details. I especially like the one of the tail.

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  22. How sad about the birds flying into your window but what can you do?

    In spring and summer, we have starlings here too.

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  23. poor birdy bird...I love starling...nice entry for ABC wednesday...thansk for dropping by!

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  24. when I was living in Singapore on the 4th floor with big windows, and among tropical trees. Often birds meet with the same fate.

    In Canada, at the univrsity I was studying it, they have cut out shapes of hawks at the window.

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  25. Oops bad luck for this chap.

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  26. beautiful
    T is for Terror or Tender
    hope it will be forever Tender in future

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