Starlings, Ontario, Canada

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Starling post-juvenal moult, Red-winged Blackbirds moulting, Juvenile Red-winged Blackbird, Chimney Swifts

It took me a couple months to discover that’s a starling! I was excited by the idea it might be leucitic, which is when feathers lack melanin and other pigments, but it seems it’s only molting to adult plummage. I was a little thrown when trying to identify it because the sound it made was unusual (starlings mimic the calls of other birds, so I wonder who it was mimicking) and there were no other starlings with it. I have only very rarely seen a starling alone. This one was hunting for insects with a bunch of rough-looking blackbirds.

I thought maybe the blackbirds were suffering from mites, or had collided with windows, but it turns out blackbirds moult in July/August (These photos are from August 2017, Toronto, Ontario, Canada). I also saw chimney swifts! They’re so fast and can turn on a dime, so it was hard to follow one with the camera, much less get some shots in focus, hahah. Thank goodness for digital where you don’t have to worry about wasting film.

Broad-winged Hawk perching and Turkey Vultures migrating, Ontario, Canada, October 2017

Click on any photo to view as a slideshow.

I saw three turkey vultures from my window, got excited, and headed out with my camera, but they were long gone. I wandered for around 20 minutes, hoping to spot them again, and found a couple of red-tailed hawks circling, a few blue jays, and then I saw a broad-winged hawk, and while I was taking photos, turkey vultures started flying over. And then more. And then more! I counted 23 of them. There were more the next day, too.