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Jan 21, 2015

These birds are all starlings

 From left to right and top to bottom: Common Starling by Pierre Selim; Iris Glossy Starling by Doug Janson; Golden-breasted Starling by Perry Quan; Superb Starling by Sumeet Moghe; Violet-backed Starling by Doug Janson; and Long-tailed Glossy Starling by Thom Haslam.

According to National Geographic there are 113 species of starlings in the world, of which I have seen one: the Common Starling.   I am surprised to now discover how many of those 113 starling species look nothing like the one starling species I am familiar with.   Starlings owe their resplendent colours to not just pigment but to the actual structure of their feathers, which impart iridescence.   Because of my geographic location in Canada, I feel obliged to defend the appearance of the Common Starling.   But I won't be satisfied to describe it in words.   I will let the photos below speak to the Common Starling's remarkable appearance.
 Photos by BarrytheBirder
While the Common Starling may be described simply as a small bird with a glossy black plumage, I will just say that I am always greatly impressed with its striking and dramatic plumage both in summer and winter

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