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Monday, March 28, 2011

Getting in a flap: Nesting birds evicted from their home by bully boy starlings


Starling strike: A black starling shows little mercy as its attempts to steal a pair of flickers' nest

This vicious European Starling is a real-life Angry Bird as it grasps the beak of a colourful Nothern Flicker in a bid to steal its nest.

The pair duelled for several minutes during the treetop tussle after a gang of the black birds swooped in on their unsuspecting speckled foes' new home.

The daring thieves launched themselves at the tree and fought beak and claw until they won the war - forcing the owners to flee.

One starling even pecked at the male flicker's head before grasping its beak with a claw (left) and the birds battled for several minutes until the starlings won the war - forcing the flickers to leave the nest

Photographer Fabiola Forns, 62, was told by a friend that a pair of northern flickers were being 'harassed' by starlings as they tried to establish a nest.

Mrs Forns and her photographer husband Alfred, 63, had the day off work so they drove to the Wakodahatchee Wetlands in Florida, United States - armed with their cameras.

Beak careful: European starlings resemble the Angry Birds as they attack a pair of northern flickers in Florida

A photography teacher, she said: 'The pair of flickers started arranging the nest early in the day and were harassed by a gang of starlings.

'There was a midday break and the flickers continued chipping wood inside the cavity.
'After we were there, we could see a handful of the starlings get close and apparently plotted the moment to hit again.

'Sure enough, the attack came against the male, sometimes being mobbed by more than one starling.'

She explained the fight lasted for several minutes, even inside the cavity, before one out-of-breath flicker surrendered.

'I'm not sure if any bird was critically injured but feathers flew everywhere and they were pecking at each other with fury,' Mrs Forns added.

source: dailymail


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