Spring is all about nature, colorful flowers, and birds that give life to the landscape. And speaking of birds, one adorable kind that has captured our attention is Starlings, the Amethyst Starling in particular. Once you lay eyes on it, you will know why they’re called that way.
The Amethyst Starling (Cinnyricinlus leucogaster) is from northern South Africa up to Senegal on the west coast across to northern Tanzania on the east coast of Africa. Amethyst Starlings inhabit woodland, savanna forest edges, and riverine habitat. They are considered to be nice birds, but being an invasive species they have a habit of pushing out native birds.
Birds feature prominently in Shakespeare’s plays and poetry. But one of the bard’s birds has become a major nuisance in the US. Choughs, wrens, cormorants, owls, nightingales, larks, and some 60 other species all have their place in the playwright’s canon. which have inspired bird lovers for centuries.
So much so that in 1890, a German immigrant named Eugene Schieffelin decided it would be a great idea to introduce as many of Shakespeare’s birds as possible to North America.
During his time as the chairman of the American Acclimatization society that 60 starlings were released into New York’s Central Park in the hope, they would start breeding. Unfortunately, they did, and now the US is home to an estimated 200 million European starlings.
Like most starling species, they tend to eat whatever they can get their hands on. In their native habitat, that means everything from insects, to tree frogs, to fruits and berries. Unfortunately, they also have the bad habits that have made starlings so invasive in North America. When food is limited, they aren’t ashamed to raid the nests of other bird species, stealing both nesting materials and hatchlings. As much as they are beautiful to look at, these birds can be real monsters in times like that.