These Gem-Like Birds Have Infiltrated North America With Their Poor Eating Habits

Nature, beautiful trees, and birds bring life to the countryside in the spring. Starlings, specifically the Amethyst Starling are an adorable type of bird that has caught our eye. You'll understand that they're called that if you see it.

The Amethyst Starling (Cinnyricinlus leucogaster) can be found across Africa, from northern South Africa to Senegal on the west coast to northern Tanzania on the east. Woodland, savanna forest margins, and riverine habitat are all home to Amethyst Starlings. They are pleasant birds but they have a habit of displacing native birds as an introduced species.

Image credits: jeff.meredith

Shakespeare's plays and poems contain many references to birds. However, in the United States, one of the bard's birds has become a huge annoyance. The playwright's canon includes choughs, wrens, cormorants, owls, nightingales, larks, and more than 60 other animals that have inspired bird lovers for decades.

So much so that a German immigrant named Eugene Schieffelin determined in 1890 that introducing as many of Shakespeare's birds as possible to North America would be a brilliant idea.

Image credits: zoo_snapper

60 starlings were introduced into New York's Central Park during his tenure as chairman of the American Acclimatization Society in the hopes that they will start breeding. They did, unfortunately, and the United States now has an estimated 200 million European starlings.

Image credits: 34strange

They eat whatever they can get their hands on as do other starling animals. That includes anything from insects to tree frogs to fruits and berries in their natural environment. Unfortunately, they have the same bad habits that have led to starlings being too invasive in North America. When food is scarce they are not hesitant to invade other bird species' nests, taking both nesting materials and hatchlings. As majestic as they are to look at these birds can be true monsters in moments like these.

Image credits: mike_strydom_photography

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