Starling behavour in the garden

So I have lots of starlings that sit in the trees then they all swoop down on the feeder, eat loads, make a big mess then fly off again. This happens several times a day. They also have the odd splash in the pond and one was even collecting nesting material yesterday.

Then today after the huge swoop of about 20  of them  two remained in the garden and looking as if they had fallen out!

One went for a bath...

While the other just pottered around the grass..

Then they were both on the fence flapping feathers or trying to hold them down as it was blowing a gale and then grooming themselves

 Yes get to the point Linda I hear you say! So next minute they were both on the ground like this for a good 5 minutes or so

I have never saw them do this  just sitting there and as there were other birds in the garden at the time am guessing there was no bird of prey about. Is this normal behavour am guessing they are a breeding pair but dont even know if its a male and female or not.

Much appreiciate any replies.

(Pardon the Scottish Accent)

  • Hi Linda, don't know about the behaviour but what I can see and think, is that the fellow in the last picture and 4th last are males, you can see the blue colour at the top of the beak, so it could well be a female with him, can't really see her beak, it should be pink.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  • Were they anting maybe, letting the ants run over them after having a bath? I haven't seen the Starlings do this but the Blackbirds and Dunnocks do, they spread their feathers out more than the Starlings did though, just an idea.

    Lot to learn

  • In reply to Catlady:

    Thanks Catlady, I will have a look back at the other pictures I took of them both to see if the beak is pink....The 2 of them were here today again.
    Nice to know how to tell the difference now.

    (Pardon the Scottish Accent)

  • In reply to gaynorsl:

    Anting?? Sorry never heard tgat term before Gaynor...they looked like someone had shouted heads and the went down as low as they could but still looking upwards almost in a state of fear look. A third starling also landed and done the same thing....only one of them had a bath.....puzzling!

    (Pardon the Scottish Accent)

  • In reply to Catlady:

    Better picture Catlady...I can clearly see the pink on its beak.....

    (Pardon the Scottish Accent)

  • Yup pink beak.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  • Ants spread the formic acid on the feathers (I think) someone will probably help with the explanation if we are lucky Linda:-)

    Lot to learn