Friday, July 11, 2008


It’s funny how one thing leads to another. There is a starling nest tucked away between two sections of roof above the horse stalls. I don’t encourage starlings to nest, however once they get established I leave them alone. I know they are a non native, invasive species, but they do eat bugs.

Just hearing the starling chicks chirping took me all the way back to the Storm King Art Center in Mountainville, New York. This is a 500 acre former farm that has rolling hills and fields that is the home for sculpture. There is also an estate house at the top of the hill which hosts the indoor exhibits.

Anyway, all the sculptures there either mimic or become a part of nature. The piece in the photo above is by Kenneth Snelson and is called “Free Ride Home.” It was made in 1974. This sculpture is an arrangement of hollow aluminum tubes that are suspended by cables. Being hollow, this piece makes a perfect bird house for starlings. I was always amuse when someone would walk up and pluck one of the support cables because hundreds of starlings would fly out of the tubes in all direction; often shitting on the person that started the ruckus.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Non native and invasive they may be, but for my $ the daily air dance they perform over the Columbia before they gather on the bridge top to twitter in the sunset, then drop to their nests beneath the old canneries at dusk is the best show in town.

7:40 AM  
Blogger Frank said...

Back in college I was on "student patrol" -- the guys who dress up in reflective gear and walk around self-importantly with flashlights and cop radios, escort single women home at night, check door locks on buildings, and generally make pompous asses of themselves (or maybe that was just us...)

Anyway, one cold November evening my partner and I were walking past a stand of pines that was absolutely filled with starlings all twittering and jockeying for space, settling down for the night. This super genius future cop said "Hey, watch this" and before I could say anything he went running, yelling and clapping his hands, right into the pine grove which, predictably, erupted in a truly impressive cloud of fleeing birds. Many of which were literally scared shitless, all over us.

9:47 AM  
Blogger Colonel Panic said...

Agent Starling, what IS it that this Guy DOES?

He COVETS! Yes he covets the shitting of small animals onto helpless sight seers!

I will enjoy his liver with some fava beans and a nice chiante.

10:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And a starling flew higher and higher until it froze and fell to the ground in a pile of manure. As manure does, it began to heat up and thawed the starling who promptly began to chirp in joy. An eagle flying overhead heard the ruckus and swooped down and ate the starling.


Being in shit is not necessarily a bad thing.
When you are in shit - keep your mouth shut.
Someone getting you out of shit is not necessarily your friend.

Hey Guy...was my rooster comment back there earlier deleted due to political correctness??


12:58 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

I don't know if it is worse being dumped on by a score of starlings or one gull.

6:28 AM  

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