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( Originally Published 1894 )
The Common Starling is a bird of passage, arriving in England about the beginning of March and leaving some time in October. Knapp says:
"There is something singularly curious and mysterious in the conduct of these birds previously to their nightly retirement, by the variety and intricacy of the evolutions they execute at that time. They will form themselves, perhaps, into a triangle, then shoot into a long, pear-shaped figure, expand like a sheet, wheel into a ball, as Pliny observes, each individual striving to get into the centre, etc., with a promptitude more like parade movements than the actions of birds. As the breeding season advances, these prodigious flights divide, and finally separate into pairs, and form their summer settlements." The Starling is a handsome bird and usually nests in old buildings, though it has a preference for a dove-cote if it can gain admission. It is a peaceable bird and for all its military evolutions does not seem to war with other species. Its domestic character is also good.