Monday, May 04, 2009

A few weeks ago, a man at a bus stop gestured to the starlings hopping around in the grass and told me that these were birds that were not native, that they were introduced to this country by someone who wanted to live in a land that had all the birds in Shakespeare.

I looked it up, later, and learned that the starling only shows up in Shakespeare once, in the first Henry IV, when Hotspur says that he will teach a starling to say Mortimer's name and then give it to the king to keep his anger up. If it's true that this is how the starling landed on our soil, I have to admire that person's dedication to Shakespeare's world, to recreating all of those tiny visions from someone else's head on someone else's land.

In any case, now there are more starlings here than most of the birds flying here as natives. The starlings in the grass by the bus stop, it turned out when I looked closer, were picking at the grass for insects just around the remains of a crow.

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