Dressed to impress

Whilst the huge migratory flocks of Starlings that form the incredible winter murmurations have long since returned to their summer homes, there are still plenty of resident Starlings who live and breed in the UK year round.

As summer approaches the Starlings here in Aberystwyth have now lost their winter covering of white speckles, and their beak changed from drab, to a bright vibrant yellow.

Apart from this striking bill, the Starlings appears to be all black from a distance, but as their feathers catch the light their plumage reveals a dazzling display of glossy greens and purples. These colours are not caused by pigment but by iridescence, which alters the wavelength of light falling on the feathers.

IMG_9926-2.png
Starling in breeding plumage

Both male and female Starlings have identical plumage however there is a subtle way to tell the sexes apart. Looking closely at the white base of the bill, you can see this has a very subtle hint of colour which is blueish in male birds, and pink in females.

This bird below is a male, and has erected his feathers to look even more dazzling and impressive to a potential mate.

IMG_9987-2.png
Male starling

This individual is a female bird and still has a few white flecks on her underside.

IMG_9909-2
Female starling

Usually quite skittish, I have tried and failed on several occasions to capture good photographs of the Starlings this year. Today however, as the sun shone bright and warm overhead, the Starlings were more relaxed and I was able to get close to them and watch the foraging for invertebrates among the daisies.

IMG_9905-2IMG_9896-2IMG_9901-2


All photographs copyright of Claire Stott/Grey Feather Photography 2018 ©
http://www.greyfeatherphotography.com

If you like what you see, you can follow me on Facebook or Instagram (@greyfeatherphotography) to see my latest photographs. Hit the little ‘follow’ button on the bottom to subscribe to my blog. Thanks for reading! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.