Why the hell couldn’t it be a stupid starling?

On Thursday evening, we discovered a dead bird in the backyard. Sadly, it was a Black-billed cuckoo. More details about Black-billed cuckoos are available through this weblink to Cornell’s marvelous ornithology website. The bird had no visible signs of injury and had not collided with a window. After flying thousands of miles from its wintering grounds in South America, there is was, just laying on the ground under a maple tree with its wings tucked close to its body. Damn.

All I could think to myself was, why the hell couldn’t it have been something nasty, gross, ugly, or stupid like a European starling, English sparrow, or a Brown-headed cowbird? It seems like whenever I find a dead bird anymore, it ends up being a neotropical migrant or a colorful songbird. Each time this happens (maybe once every year or two) I get tears in my eyes at the thought of something so lovely dying so unnecessarily.

This entry was posted in Environment, Nature, Science, Wildlife and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Why the hell couldn’t it be a stupid starling?

  1. Mike says:

    I find this article quite depressing really.

    Anyone who thinks a starling is nasty, gross, ugly or stupid simply hasn’t take the time to actually look at them properly.

    Take a look at this one.

    Open it up and zoom right in. Look at the iridescence on the feathers, they’re not ugly little brown birds, there’s blue, green and purple in there! Look at the way it’s beak transitions into its head, the bright yellow fading to white. Look at the light brown outline on each and every one of it’s flight feathers.

    Go and watch this video.

    Yup. Nasty, gross, ugly and stupid.


    • Rick says:

      I appreciate your comments, Mike. Since they are an invasive species in the United States and have an affinity to congregate in noisy and messy flocks, I was only speaking from personal observations.


  2. Jane McClure says:

    Rick, Sorry to hear of your cuckoo’s demise. I’ve never heard of them, so looked it up in my bird book. I see that Indiana is in it’s territory, but have never seen one around here. Do you get them there regularly or do they just pass thru ? We get occasional hits on our picture windows & it always saddens me. I go out & bury them. The last one was a little winter wren late this winter.
    I saw an Indigo bunting flying thru our yard a few days ago. They are regulars in this area & sometimes will come eat from my feeder for days at a time. And for the first time, I’ve seen a chickadee trying to build a nest in a house I have on a stake snuggled into my rose bush. I’ve inadvertently interrupted his building a couple times. Have never seen them using a house before.


    • Rick says:

      I have only seen then 2-3 times in Michigan, but never in our yard before. I think Indigo buntings are very beautiful birds. With your location, it does not surprise me that you get terrific bird life.


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