Tuesday, April 17, 2018


Image result for starling

Environmental & Science Education
Invasive Species
Edward Hessler

Common starlings. Aggressive. Destructive. Oddly beautiful.

The United States had not a single starling until the idea that this country should have all the birds mentioned in Shakespeare's plays captured the imagination of Eugene Schiefflin, a wealthy New Yorker.  So European starlings were introduced in the late 1800s and as is often said, history. From a few, many. Many would argue way too many.

The 13-minute film, The Commoners, is a short story about this invasion and takeover.

There is a lesson or two here but not ones that have informed many decisions and their often unintended consequences.

The family, Sturnidae, includes roughly 120 different species of starlings worldwide.  You can view them on the Internet IBC Bird Collection. One of my favorites is the Superb Starling which is widely distributed in East Africa. What a handsome bird.

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