We identified a bird as a European Starling with the last post, but now a mystery remains. These two were both actually in the same shot and I’ve cropped out the intervening space on the lamp post top so you can compare side by side. Here’s part two of the bird quiz: Is one male, one female, and if so, which is which?
Judging from this paper, there’s not enough distinguishing characteristics in these two photos to tell for certain, but the one on the right is likely a male, while the one on the left is likely female.
One thought on “Eurostars”
Thanos–Missed this post on the Starlings, so this is late. There isn’t a great deal of variation between male and female Starlings in terms of coloring. There is however variation between full adults and juveniles, and between winter and summer plummage. From Stokes Field Guide to Birds–Juveniles (first year birds) are more uniformly grayish brown and their bills are darker; Winter adults are the black body, with speckling of white and gold, black bill. Summer (breeding) adult plummage is more overall black, less spotting on chest and partial yellow bill. I don’t know where you live, but here in California we see Starling flocks with huge variations in plummage throughout the year–some in breeding plummage even in early winter, others in full winter plummage all year round, and you throw in the juvies, and you begin to think you have a bunch of different bird species. I saw a Starling flock a week ago with individuals with very strange coloring that included patches of gold/yellow on the breast. But they acted like Starlings, flew like Starlings, so they were probably weird, wacky California Starlings.
Looking at your pictures–My guess is probably both adults, one in early breeding plummage, the other still showing winter colors. No sex determination without closer view of bills and eyes.
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