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"Nay, I'll have a starling shall be taught to speak nothing but 'Mortimer' ...." -- Henry IV

The story goes that some guy released in Central Park all the birds mentioned by Shakespeare. The European starling , released in 1890, now occurs throughout much of North America. The English house sparrow, like the house fly, house mouse, and Norwegian rat, followed Europeans throughout the world, currently occupying a greater range of habitat than any other bird on earth. Some claim exotic species should be welcomed due to their ability to occupy habitat so disturbed that native species are struggling, but the most successfull invaders are known to outcompete and displace native species. One year i cleared out some starlings nesting in cavities in an old box elder tree in the front yard, and some northern flickers nested there instead, succesfully hatching out two chicks. I felt pretty proud watching over them with an air rifle. The monk parakeet though .....
- jeff 4-30-2002 7:47 pm [link] [1 ref] [10 comments]