It all began right after Easter. We barbecued over Easter weekend and at that time, my sons had to clear away several twigs and whatnot from the bottom of our grill. Just before that weekend, the fierce wind we often get here, had tore the remains of our BBQ cover to shreds and left bits of it on the patio below our deck. Hence, we had an accessible, secluded spot for a cavity nester.
This is the first time we’ve had a nest in our BBQ and we didn’t have the heart to kick the determined builders out so we let Mother Nature do her work. We did check on their progress once in a while and soon we found four blue eggs nestled deep inside the hollow of the nest. My kids identified the papa and mama birds as common starlings. The male starling starts to build a nest to attract a mate, and then the happy couple finishes the home together.
Then one day we could hear lots of chirping coming from the grill so we carefully peeked and three of the four eggs had hatched.
One afternoon, I took some video of a parent flying in and out of the grill with worms to feed the chicks. This video is less than a minute and I took it from my kitchen, through the screen door. I’m not the best at taking video and it was on my phone, but this was the only capture I could get of one of the starling parents. And let me just say that those parents were overly cautious entering our BBQ each and every time. It was funny to watch them. Sometimes I saw one parent enter and the other exit at the same time. They got in and out through a long slat in the back of the grill.
This was the only good photo I got of the chicks with their new feathers. I tried to be extra careful when checking on them so none escaped before they were ready. Mostly, we let the grill alone so the parents could enter and exit without fear. I was wishing our grill cover was see-through, not that I plan to let this happen again. We do like to use our grill for our own use after all.
Did you know that European starlings were not native to North America? They were introduced to us by a member of the American Acclimatization Society, named, Eugene Schieffelin. The American Acclimatization Society was a group with the goal of introducing European plants and animals to North America. Eugene thought it would be cool to introduce all of Shakespeare’s birds (mentioned in his plays) to us so he released 60 starlings into New York’s Central Park in 1890, and our starlings today are figured to be those starling’s descendants. (Info. from Justfunfacts.com and Wikipedia.) Check out this fun article entitled, The birds of Shakespeare cause US trouble.
The young starlings flew away last week. I did see them, though I wasn’t able to get a photo, but they looked very much like these juvenile starlings. Two days ago, Marcus, cleared the nest from the BBQ. And then guess what happened? Those stinker parents, or an identical couple, returned and started filling our grill again! So my husband and I went to Lowe’s and bought a new cover and hopefully that is the end of our grill being used for other intentions. Hey, thanks for stopping by! I wish all my readers an enjoyable weekend. 🙂