I'm not supposed to like starlings.
Most books will tell you what a wretched piece of crap this bird is. Usually something like:
"The European Starling is considered a pest, and included here only to help you repel it. One of the least loved backyard birds, these dumpy, screechy, greedy creatures ..."
The trouble started in the 1890s when Eugene Schieffelin introduced a few modest flocks (from England) in New York*. Now there's millions of them in North America. Their rap sheet includes:
- raiding cattle feedlots (they eat the cow food, not the cows)
- evicting bluebirds and woodpeckers from nesting cavities
- smacking into airplanes
- hogging all the food at the birdfeeder
- making a mess
I enjoy starlings. I shouldn't, but I do. They're cute. I like their spots and iridescent feathers. I like their raspy voice and the way they flap their wings and puff out their neck feathers when they sing. I like how they collect shiny objects and get into mischief.
I like how I can watch them in so many places- parks, parking lots, or from my window.
I know they're bad, but I can't resist them.
*Popular lore says this was part of a plan to introduce all birds mentioned by Shakespeare to North America!