Another nice new bird pudding is hanging up in the garden. And who is this we spotted through the window? It is a beautiful glossy starling having a taste. He chased the smaller birds away and obviously liked what he was eating as he returned several times during the day. So far, this is the only starling that we have noticed feeding on the bird pudding. None of his friends seem the slightest bit interested in trying this new taste sensation. Guess this one has a more discerning palate than the average starling.
Acclimatisation Societies introduced starlings into New Zealand in the 1880s and like other introduced British birds, they had no trouble settling in and flourished in their new country. They have settled in to all types of habitats, from open pastures, city parks and gardens, in orchards and along roadsides, on the edge of forests, and even coastal cliffs. Starlings feed on caterpillars and grubs, fruit, flying insects caught on the wing and also sip nectar from flax bushes and pohutakawa trees.
Now it is Spring we have been advised to stop feeding the birds. If they have too much in the way of food supplements they brood several lots of chicks instead of just the one clutch. We will resume making our bird puddings next year over winter when food is scarcer.