2007 Animalblog for July 02, 2007 (88 of 126) <<-first last->> slideshow <-previous next->
20070702.jpg
2007 Animalblog for July 02, 2007 (88 of 126) <<-first last->> slideshow <-previous next->
European Starling (sturnus vulgaris) (352 views)
(2007) Canal du Midi, France, EU
Photo Posted July 2, 2007

© 2007 Terry Costales
Creative Commons License

Finally a European starling where it belongs: in Europe.

I have observed large flocks of Starlings since I was a kid. Sometimes I've seen enormous groups making, what I like to call, "flock circles" in the sky. When they do this it's very unnerving. The first time I saw this phenomenon it was in the skies over San Francisco about 15 years ago. I thought perhaps the birds could sense an impending disaster, perhaps an earthquake. If so, what was I doing in SAN FRANCISCO? Home of the big one that's always overdue.

I found out later this was normal behavior for starlings. The Wikipedia article external link on European Starlings says "Large roosts (exceptionally up to a million birds) can form in city centres, causing a great deal of mess from their droppings. Flocks are also noted for forming a tight sphere-like formation in flight, then expanding and contracting and even changing shape, all seemingly without any sort of leader."

Even knowing this is normal for Starlings and nothing supernatural, I still get the heebie-jeebies. Though I'll never admit it.

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(89 of 126) The face of a horse can be very fascinating. Such a large animal, capable of such force and power, yet with such gentle eyes it just makes one sigh. This picture is a Police horse patiently
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(90 of 126) This is a photo of a soft-shelled turtle. Unlike the numerous red-eared sliders, this was the only soft-shelled turtle I saw that day.
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(91 of 126) Seeing a bright red eye on a bird, to me, is quite startling. Although the heron appears to be standing one-legged, the other leg is actually stretched out in front, grasping another branch.
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(93 of 126) This gorgeous male pheasant was much too tame for its own good. It came right up to me looking for hand-outs.
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(94 of 126) This was taken in early May and shows a fledgling night heron that has fallen out of it's nest. It took shelter next to a fence that was only a few feet from a path. I hope everyone knew to leave
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(97 of 126) The bird on the left is a young adult who won't achieve the look of the mature bird on its right for another year.
by Terry Costales
(98 of 126) A gosling is so darn cute when it's little. It's hard to believe that there is an entire industry devoted to the task of making them go away. When large flocks of adult geese show up in a "wrong
Anna's Hummingbird (358 views)
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(103 of 126) Fall colors provide a wonderful background for this little sparrow.
by Terry Costales
(104 of 126) This photo caught a sleepy juvenile unaware of the camera. Like yesterday's photo, I love the narrow field of focus.
Young Night Herons (361 views)
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(105 of 126) This picture was taken in early May and these two seem a little older than the other fledglings I saw. They have gotten big enough to come out of the nest and perch on the branches nearby.
Reindeer (410 views)
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(106 of 126) The quintessential Christmas animal.
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(109 of 126) This picture was taken moments after the one I posted yesterday. It's a small bird, about 7 inches long, and was singing its little heart out. I only saw a couple of barn swallows that day, but
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(115 of 126) Our boat was moored on the Canal du Midi and the four of us aboard all commented on the picturesque red and blue boat tied up across the way. When the swan swam near the boat I saw a photo op I
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Great Egret flying (610 views)
by Terry Costales
(117 of 126) To get a shot of a graceful bird flying is always a coup.
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(118 of 126) This is the trio of nestlings from yesterday's blog. Mom swoops in, holds on to the nest with her feet, uses her wings to stay balanced and feeds them on the fly, as it were. They set up a clamor
Zoe the Vizsla (446 views)
by Terry Costales
(119 of 126) Today I met a very nice young woman and her beautiful dog Zoe. I learned a lot about the Vizsla breed and am looking forward to finding out even more.
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(120 of 126) The flamingos were just waking up, looking beautifully exotic in the morning light.
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(124 of 126) I was fascinated to watch this egret hunt . He moved very patiently and slowly, then his head would dart into the shallow water and he would come up with a little fish. It must take a lot of little
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(126 of 126) Killdeer are a shy and fast bird. Consequently I rarely get a good shot of one. I was lucky this day to get that elusive shot.
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(1 of 126) There are hundreds of these turtles in Stow Lake. If the little pet turtle you had as a kid ever lived long enough to outgrow its little plastic dish (the one with the fake palm tree) it would've
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(2 of 126) These are just the cutest but strange little dogs. Owners of French Bulldogs call their dogs Frenchies and I actually saw quite a few in France.
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(3 of 126) When I took this photo I thought it was a common crow. That was in April. I processed this photo recently and discovered it was actually a jackdaw. A Jackdaw is a type of crow but has a grey
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(4 of 126) I went out on my brother's boat last Monday and saw many Great Blue Herons. Twice I saw one noisily chase away a Great Egret that he thought was encroaching on his fishing spot.