The Lady Fairer

:The Lady Fairer

The Lady Fairer

2010-05-14T23:02:30+00:00 May 14th, 2010|Uncategorized|1 Comment

Have you seen her all in gold
Like a queen in days of old?
She shoots colors all around,
Like a sunset going down,
Have you seen the lady fairer?

I know Mick didn’t have Starlings in mind when he sang that. For those who don’t have a frame of reference for the song, the vinyl or the hologram, here’s a You Tube recap.

Starling Catching Insects

Starling With Lunch for the Kids - ©ingridtaylar

Yes, my unsung, rainbow beauty, the Starling makes another appearance in the blog. Non-native and maligned she may be, but still radiant and iridescent.

My stance on non-native animals is soft, but admittedly complex. I understand and often hear the counterpoints to my perspective. And I don’t deny the difficulty of dealing with masses of Starlings or non-native species in general.

The problem is my inability to turn away from an injured animal when I’m faced with that decision personally. I also recognize myself as a non-native on this land — belonging to a species that’s arguably more harmful to habitat and to species at large than Starlings ever were. So, I’d have to become a self-hating human or a hypocrite to feel the emotional antipathy toward Starlings that I know I’m supposed to.

You can blame Star and Ling for my mixed and misguided affections. And in that same post, you can also read about the society of Shakespearean groupies who released those first Starlings into Central Park — and the Scientific American piece that absolves Starlings in The Case of the Missing Bluebirds. And find a link to the official DFG information on various species and their regulations.

For the purposes of this post — and most of my posts — I appreciate the aesthetic that Starlings bring to the frame in terms of their purples and greens, and the young with their striking and speckled bellies. As photographic subjects, they may be common in number but they’re uncommonly lovely to my eye.

Starling Iridescence

San Francisco Starling Iridescence - ©ingridtaylar

The Photos: 1) I was photographing Cliff Swallows last week and didn’t see that there was also a Starling nest nearby. This parent landed right above my head, bearing a meal for the nestlings. Shot with my Olympus E-520 and 70-300mm Zuiko lens (effective reach of 600mm). 2) This Starling was bathing in a San Francisco fountain, near the Embarcadero, hanging out with a small flock of blackbirds.

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One Comment

  1. Poker Fan May 19, 2010 at 6:18 pm - Reply

    I, for one, appreciate the defense of starlings. I also had a young experience with starlings that left me with respect for these lovely birds. I also understand the many complaints people have about starlings, some justified, but many not. It distresses me that so much gets blamed on these birds when, as some recent articles say, they probably are not to blame in some of the crimes where they’ve been implicated. They can decimate a cherry tree, that’s true. I don’t mean to diminish the issues that happen on farmland when a huge flock of starlings and blackbirds lands. But they also hunt the insects which can destroy crops. It is a complex issue, as you say. I really loathe the hardened sentiments when it comes to invasive species. I think far too many animals are unnecessarily harmed because of the labels assigned to them. Also, let’s not forget the various protected blackbirds shot by kids with air rifles and guns who often can’t tell the difference between a starling and a blackbird. You can even find visual documentation of this if you look.

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