Oh no, not starling aGAIN

There’s a clear pattern emerging here now that Diamond is doing more of the hunting (I’m assuming this because of her long absences and the fact that the bird is now often being brought in whole, even if plucked).  I don’t think there is much, if anything, in the stash at present.   Xavier catches starlings, and occasionally other passerines such as honeyeaters and the odd pigeon.  Diamond seems to turn up her nose at starlings and is mainly bringing in large parrots and pigeons.

Here Xavier has brought in a whole adult starling (for once, easy to identify with its bright yellow bill, shining coat and pink legs);  Diamond grabs it and takes off with it, as if to say, oh, no not Sturnus vulgaris again.  Actually she’s probably just taking it away to pluck.

This happened about 3 pm yesterday afternoon; I’ll hopefully catch up tomorrow.

It’s always good to get them all together.   You can just see the tail feathers coming through.   VIDEO  20171022 Oh, no, not starling again


Here he comes, sweeties, but oh no, it’s starling aGAIN.


8 thoughts

  1. And Diamond did come back with the scorned starling to feed the youngsters a little while later…better than nothing, I guess.

    Oh, and I was thinking that most likely my mystery bird is a white-winged triller, an uncommon summer migrant, which is interesting, but a bit sad. They just pass through the university farm twice a year, but rarely stay long.

  2. We see this pattern at other nests too. The first week or two the male is the sole hunter (almost). But the eyases grow fast and need more food. That is when the female will join in the hunt or even do most of the hunting. Partly because she can handle larger prey I think.

  3. Also it is rapidly warming up (although chilly last night…brrr) and they are getting big, so chicks do not need the mother’s warmth. I noticed this less with Swift, probably because she was quite old and in the last couple of years had a weak leg, so let the male do most of the hunting.

    It is possible that Xavier is quite young. I’m expecting that he will start being able to handle larger prey as he gains experience. He is smaller, of course, but other males have been able to catch parrots, including galahs, and pigeons.

    The other main difference is that the prey was stashed in the box, but with this pair it is stashed elsewhere (I just wish I knew where!).

  4. Thank goodness for the blog updates and videos 🙂 Haven’t been able to get anything from the cams for a couple of days now.

    I wonder why the change in stash location? Seeing as Xavier has been the only real variable, is it something to do with him? (He’s always liked to keep his eye on the food, hasn’t he?)

  5. Many thanks Scylla!

    I managed to score a brief window of cam time this morning before all went black again – those chicks change so much day by day – I see they are developing their little bandit masks. I love them at this scruffy stage.

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