January 7 – Waxwings and Starlings…


…look nothing like each other really, except their silhouettes are similar when seen from a distance in flight. Today one of my goal birds, the only one that I finally found, was a European Starling. It’s rare that someone actually looks for a starling, but in Alaska they are often hard to find and I didn’t have one on my year list yet. It was a beautiful morning with snow still remaining on the spruce trees.


At first the closest things to starlings were flocks of Bohemian Waxwings, many flocks of waxwings.

Finally in the Turnagain neighborhood I heard a starling singing after a flock of waxwings flew by and left the area. In a tall spruce tree very near me I found seven starlings, which took off, so I could not add a starling photo to my year list of photos. I had a small flock of American Robins there too but the photos were fuzzy.

After doing a few errands, I went to the Airport Heights neighborhood – more waxwings and more robins. And then, there was a single starling in a tree among a small flock of robins that were feeding in nearby fruiting trees, and I got its photo.

It’s funny how little it takes to make me happy, especially in a non-big year! When I got home, there was another flock of waxwings in our back yard. Although I thought I heard a starling in the distance, I did not see it, so I still do not have starling on our yard list. Probably a good thing, since I recall that they nearly ate us out of house and home when we lived in an area where starlings are common.

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