Much-maligned but still loved by me, a European Starling makes the drop: grubs for breakfast, in the door; baby droppings out the door. The parent carries the nestlings’ waste out through the portal, drops it in the shrubs nearby, then forages again in the grass for the babies’ next meal of insects.

Because Starlings, en masse, can clean out crops and cherry trees, people mistakenly think that a flock of Starlings on the lawn necessarily means bad news. Often, though, they’re foraging for grubs, beetles, cutworms and weevils, actually rendering a service to homeowners and vegetable gardens susceptible to these insects. If you just happen to have a sheep or two, Starlings can help there, too, picking off ticks from the fleece.

Their insect quota is high during the nesting months of spring. And although adult Starlings will eat a variety of foods, their kids get only the most healthful bug proteins.

Starling Bringing Food to Nest

Food In - ©ingridtaylar

Starling Removes Waste Droppings from Nest

Garbage Out - ©ingridtaylar