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Oddly enough, I was thinking about this exact issue over the weekend . .
.I've seen this activity in
October, as well . . .the starlings are pretty adept at sailing around, tho'
I have no idea how successful they may be in securing bugs . . .I believe
that most individuals are HYs (young birds), as best as I can tell . . .

On an (un)related matter, I was in SW Kansas recently, and watched at least
3 HY Rock Wrens follow Say's Phoebes around that were flycatching . . .the
wrens fluttered in the area of the flycatcher as the flycatcher caught a bug
. . .I then saw at least one of the wrens catch a REALLY BIG 'NUMMER . ..
ummmm . . .

At any rate, I was wondering if the starlings were "learning" to hawk
insects from another species, as the wrens were
"learning" from the flycatchers . . .


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Sebastian T. Patti
(Lincoln Park)
Chicago, ILLINOIS 60614-3354
PHONE: 312/603-4416 (o) 773/248-0570 (h)
FAX: 312/603-2041 (o) 773/248-0264 (h)





>From: Robert Fisher <[log in to unmask]>
>Reply-To: MO Wild Bird Forum <[log in to unmask]>
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Subject: Starlings making like Chimney Swifts
>Date: Wed, 16 Oct 2002 10:59:27 -0500
>
>I saw my last Chimney Swifts Monday, heading south. Yesterday, I saw what
>appeared to be Chimney Swifts hawking for insects over downtown
>Independence. At first, was sure they were swifts because they were
>fluttering their wings just like swifts. However, when I got closer, they
>turned out to be starlings.
>
>I had noticed starlings flying around like swifts in mid-October for quite
>a few years, but, until yesterday, I never noticed how swift-like their
>flight could be. Seeing them flutter their wings just like swifts raises
>all sorts of interesting questions. How do they learn to fly so much like
>swifts when they are behaving differently for so much of the rest of the
>year? Do starlings (which originally came here from England) emulate the
>different species of swift that flies over European cities?  Why do the
>swifts leave when they do if there are still plenty of insects up there for
>the Starlings to catch? Why do Chimney Swifts leave the U.S. completely in
>winter, although winter conditions in the southernmost states may be less
>cold (and therefore less devoid of high flying insects) than they are when
>the swifts arrive in spring and just before they leave in fall? Starlings
>are migrants in Europe. Why do they hang around in northern U.S. cities
>through even the coldest winter!
>s?
>
>These sorts of questions keep me thinking about birds when the rarities are
>few and far between as I drive around town and while I sit at the computer.
>
>Bob Fisher
>Independence, Missouri
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>
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