Starlings mating early ?

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Saw two starlings rolling about on the lawn this morning, it looked like they were trying to kill each other at first, but now I am wondering if they were trying to mate !   One of them had it's claws wrapped around the other starlings legs and they were flapping about all over the place, I have never seen anything like it.  But eventually they both flew up onto our roof and sat there side by side for a few minutes before one flew off and the other one hopped into a space under one of the roof tiles.. We had starlings nesting in the same place last year and was wondering if it could be the same ones. Is it too early for them to be mating ? or was it was a fight over the nesting site, either way it was very aggressive behaviour  !

  • Thanks for your reply Lolly , I didn't think about them being two females, you could be right and they were fighting over who gets  to nest in our roof ! I will look out tomorrow to see what develops.

  • Hi Ilovebirds,

    I think Lolly was right first time. They both look like females to me with pinkish bases to their beaks. Males are blue. That is a brilliant photo though - very well captured.

  • Thanks Linda, you would think females would be better behaved wouldn't you :) I was lucky to get a photo at all ! it all happened so quick.  Will keep my camera ready tomorrow in case it happens again.

  • i have just seen the same this morning. 2 starlings landed on conservatory roof doing the exact same as u describe above. legs seem stuck together.  after about 3mins of scrabbling with each other both flew off.  not sure also whether fightibg or mating ritual?

  • Its that time of year when things start to warm up - I noticed a pair of local Great Crested grebes thinking about mating yesterday : she was giving all the signals that she was ready. I believe if it is mild enough they will start to breed early - if the nest fails they will breed again and if the nest doesn't fail and all the young fledge they will quite happily raise another brood.It's like there is no period of morning, do I want to go through all this again that we humans suffer as individuals - its reproduce for the sake of the species whenever we can, especially given that a Starling life span is about 2-3 years.

  • Its that time of year when things start to warm up - I noticed a pair of local Great Crested grebes thinking about mating yesterday : she was giving all the signals that she was ready. I believe if it is mild enough they will start to breed early - if the nest fails they will breed again and if the nest doesn't fail and all the young fledge they will quite happily raise another brood.It's like there is no period of morning, do I want to go through all this again that we humans suffer as individuals - its reproduce for the sake of the species whenever we can, especially given that a Starling life span is about 2-3 years.

    As Bob says, it's that time of year, not just for starlings, but for a great many species.

    A couple of days back at my local reserve, coots were mating.