Blue Sky and a Two-Tone Beak


Blue Sky and a Two-Tone Beak

From across the parking lot this bird looks black, but if you zoom in to see him atop the lamp post then you see he’s multi-hued, speckled, and has a two toned beak. I’m not an ornithologist, and do not have a clue what type of bird this is, so if you know drop a comment please. As with almost all pics posted here you can click on the image to see a larger, more detailed version. I never upload the full 10.1 megapixel versions however since they are bandwidth killers.

A couple of notes about the Canon while I’m talking about pictures. The first thing is that my camera has had a bent flash card memory pin since the second day I had it. This resulted from getting a “Bad Flash Card” error and multiple attempts to reseat it without my glasses. I eventually got the error to go away and I pried the bent pin away from shorting another pin with a big-ass magnifying glass and a rather stiff darning needle. Since then it’s functioned fine, but today I again got the error.

This caused quite a panic since repairing the slot means shipping the camera off, and having a new flash slot receptacle put in at a cost that’s close enough to that of a new camera body. Who knows if they wouldn’t get something else hosed since they have to disassemble the whole camera to replace the card slot receptacle? Shortly after the error however I was pleased to see a low battery warning, and after recharge the flash slot error went away. It makes me wonder if the original error that encouraged me to clumsily bend the pin in the first place wasn’t just a low battery showing up first as a flash card error.

The second thing about Cannons is that you really need to experiment with some of the non-auto settings, you aren’t really practicing the fine art of photography if you don’t. If the thick manual scares you, then there’s a pocket guide that tells you how to fiddle those settings concisely.

Update: This is an amazing video of Starlings settling for the night in Otmoor, I recommend full screen viewing.

5 thoughts on “Blue Sky and a Two-Tone Beak”

  1. This, my friend, is a European Starling. It is not a native American bird. Mozart had one as a pet and they can be taught to speak if raised in captivity. They are truly beautiful when viewed up close and look like they have an oil spill on their backs. So many colors when you see them. I love these birds.

  2. From the UK

    This is definitely a European starling. See

    “Noisy” does not really cut it. They are raucous in a large group. If you have washing out in the garden in summer they will often foul it when a flock flies over.

    One feature, at least in the UK, is that very large flocks can wheel about in the sky shortly before dusk and then, suddenly, the whole flock dives to the ground and roosts overnight. Amazing display.

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