Science: Versatile Sturnus

The common European starling, Sturnus vulgaris, is a black-hued bird with a blue-green iridescence on its glossy plumage. Introduced to the U. S. in 1890 to crowd out sparrows, starlings themselves have become a nuisance in some eastern cities, notably Washington. When they gang up in great flocks, as they often do, they make a dreadful din. But when performing solo, Sturnus vulgaris is one of the most versatile of all bird mimics. It not only imitates the songs of many birds but also reproduces, with uncanny fidelity, the cackle of a laying hen,...

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