Friday, 11 April 2008


Two starlings appeared on our front lawn this morning. They were busily probing the lawn with their long pointed beaks, perfect for reaching food beneath the soil.

Starlings tend to get a bit of bad press, often described as noisy bullies. How in true fickle human nature, many people marvel at the flocks as they swirl almost magically around the Brighton piers as they come into roost. Its hard to believe that until about the mid 1800's starlings were rare in the UK and Europe. Now they are on the decline along with that other familiar garden bird the house sparrow.

Look at a starling up close and you may be surprised by its colourful irridecent feathers. People should be happy when starlings visit their lawns as they feed on various larvae (especially the leather jacket, larvae of the cranefly) that feed on the roots of the grass. As I watched the starlings on the lawn, I noticed them catching and eating invertebates.

They looked too small to be earthworms, so hopefully they were feeding on insect larvae.

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