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Bob, did you ever hear that story on NPR about the lady that raised
starlings?  It was fascinating.  Starlings can learn a remarkably complex
and detailed verbal repertoir and can "speak" with great and surprising
clarity, just like a parrot can.  In fact, they can rival many breeds of
parrots.  The lady on NPR had the bird talking and then her husband would
talk and the two were indistinquishable, you could not tell them apart.  The
husband would regularly tell his wife "Don't worry, it will be alright", and
the starling picked up on that and would say the same thing, in the same
tone of voice and with the same vocal qualities, and the bird sounded just
like the husband.  I was amazed.  It gave me a better understanding and
appreciation of the lowly starling.

Jim Fossard - Springfield

-----Original Message-----
From: MO Wild Bird Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of
Robert Fisher
Sent: Wednesday, April 07, 2004 10:06 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Will Shakespeare and North American Starlings


Check out the article, "Birds of the Bard" at the following URL:
http://www.startribune.com/stories/1453/4705708.html

It tells how Shakespeare's mention of a Starling in Henry IV caused us to
have hundreds of millions of them in North America. It also provides a lot
of other information about Starlings in North America.

Most interesting to me was to learn that Starlings can be taught to speak
words and that they mimic other sounds.

Bob Fisher
Independence, Missouri

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