The European starling is a bully. There are only a few birds that will stand their ground when the starlings come round. A house finch or a chickadee will skedaddle at first sight. A robin will hold it’s ground for a time, but eventually yield. The scrub jays, on the other hand, will chase the bullies, putting them in their place. Still the starlings don’t yield easily or quickly; they are dogged. An accipiter, a cooper’s hawk, for example, would love an encounter with a stand-your-ground starling. A cooper’s prefers mid-sized birds, doves, and yes starlings. Unlike the falcons, a peregrine, for example, loves to eat the starlings brain and will use its beak to kill and then consume its favorite part, the cooper’s doesn’t use its bill to kill. It holds it’s prey away from its body and squeezes the life out of it. There are even records of cooper’s holding their prey under water and drowning it. I’d like to see that, not the squeezing or the drowning, but the result, a world with fewer bullies.

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1 Response to Bullies

  1. bettyjo says:

    Was surprised to see a half dozen red-wing blackbirds successfully chase off a Bald Eagle who came to check out the fishing on the pond.

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