Baby Starlings by the dozens
Over recent weeks we have had about ten pairs of Common Starlings nesting in various hollows around the garden and the nearby mallee scrub. Over the last week or so the parents have been kept busy feeding them, flying to and fro with food in a frantic attempt to quell the begging chicks.
Now the babies are out of the nest and populating various bushes and trees around our house. They are making a terrible racket with their persistent calling.
I’ll be pleased when they form loose flocks with the young from neighbouring scrub areas and head off elsewhere. Every year in October hundreds of Common Starlings form flocks of hundreds – even thousands of individuals. I’m not sure where they end up, but during November through to about February there are very few, if any, left around here. My guess is that they head either up into the fruit growing areas in the Adelaide Hills or up stream to the Riverland districts, also extensive fruit growing areas. Some may even head off to the Barossa and Clare Valley grape vines or even to the wine districts of south east South Australia.
Being purely selfish in these matters, I’m pleased that they do not hang around in our own orchard. They must sense that we are very poor orchardists and that we usually have very little fruit on our little collection of trees.