Starling flocks are significant in the bird strikes per year reported in New Zealand. Nests under house eaves are noisy, smelly, may attract rodents, and are often infested with fleas and mites. Communal roosts on islands become a source of weeds such as boxthorn, and may spread diseases like avian pox to bird reserves; roosts in towns are a public nuisance, with corrosive droppings.
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Competition for nest boxes has been identified as a potential problem at some restoration sites, with starlings using nest boxes placed for black robins, Forbes' parakeets and yellow-crowned parakeets on Rangatira, Mangere and Mana Islands. Starlings nest in cavities: in hollow trees, dead tree-fern trunks, under the eaves of houses, in letter boxes, crevices in cliffs and burrows. Big cavities may be filled with up to a cubic meter of material. Bird boxes are readily used.
The nest is usually made of dry grass lined with finer material, but anything available is welcome. They excavate sites in clay banks or roadside cuttings recorded only in New Zealand. Some nest in open sites, e. Starlings often nest colonially; males defend m from the nest, and may control several sites and females. Breeding is synchronised, with most eggs laid within 7 days of the median laying date in September-October. Unlike starlings in Europe, the start of breeding is not correlated with latitude. Replacement clutches and late starters lay in November, and successful early nesters may have a second brood in early December.
Incubation period 12 days, fledging days. Many chicks do not survive to fledge. Males incubate in the mornings, and both parents feed the young until weeks after fledging. Although starlings depend on humans for access to crops, pasture, and buildings to nest in, they are difficult to approach. Much behaviour is social, as they feed, travel and roost in large flocks in Europe numbering millions , and squabble over food, nests, and mates.
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Nests are visited morning and evening for most of the year. Breeding males sing with throat hackles raised, waving their wings.
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They lead females to the nest, carrying green leaves. At dusk they fly up to 30 km to a central roost, in trees or shrubs, often on an island or the centre of a city. These roosts are used throughout the year except by nesting females.
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The main diet is pasture invertebrates, including earthworms, caterpillars, beetles and their larvae, and spiders. Starlings take grain from hen runs, and readily take food scraps in urban areas. Soft fruit apples, pears, cherries, grapes may be damaged. Bull, P. Breeding dates and productivity of starlings Sturnus vulgaris in northern, central, and southern New Zealand.
Notornis 53 : Evans, L. Breeding synchrony through social stimulation in a spatially segregated population of European starlings. Animal Behaviour 78 : Flux, J. Population dynamics and age structure of starlings Sturnus vulgaris in New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Ecology 4 : Nature red in claw: how and why starlings kill each other.
Notornis 39 : The fertility clinic: a bird's-eye view of our future. New Zealand Journal of Zoology 42 : Distribution of parental effort between nestlings of European starlings: runting and the spoilt-brat strategy. New Zealand Journal of Zoology 22 : Heather, B. Mingle2's gay personals are the free and easy way to find other gay singles looking for dates, boyfriends, sex, or friends. Browse thousands of gay personal ads in Wellington - all completely free. Sign up now to place your free gay personal ad and check out the ads of other available gay singles in Wellington! Gay Personals euro I am born in Denmark am single young european guy.
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