About this time of year, the birds start to get ready for spring.  A pair of robins hanging about; male cardinals practicing their songs, chickadees, owls, all gearing up; and, once in a while a flock of starlings.

The latter, thank heaven, don’t hang around for long.  They are, however, quite interesting to watch.  Whereas the over-wintering, native birds are confident and independent; the starlings act like a school of hyper-wary bait-fish.  Anything will set them off.  Even the robin approaching with a bit confidence will spook them, the entire flock will go whirling off and the robin will stand there looking puzzled.  Same with a titmouse or cardinal in a bush, or nothing at all.  The native, non-flocking, birds don’t behave like that at all.  I got the distinct impression that there was no sense of communication between the starling flock and the native birds, almost as if they didn’t recognize each other; which most assuredly is not the case with the chickadees, cardinals, titmice, etc.

I think the starlings were after sorrel/plantain seeds on the flagpole lawn; they have since vanished.  They were a bit locust like, frankly.