FW: Are Starlings waterbirds?

To: "'Birding-aus'" <>
Subject: FW: Are Starlings waterbirds?
From: "Osborn, Paul PR" <>
Date: Mon, 10 Mar 1997 14:40:13 +1000
>Another resend.
>I regularly visit a large dam associated with a colliery and coal washery
>near Newcastle, NSW. Starlings are always present and I frequently see them
>probing about in the mud like waders. Magpie-larks can also often be seen
>there feeding (not just gathering mud for nests) on the mud flats at the
>Paul Osborn
>From:  Martin O'Brien[SMTP:
>Sent:  Thursday, 6 March 1997 9:33
>Subject:       Are Starlings waterbirds?
>A new thread, and it may be research oriented!
>An interesting observation has come my way regarding the introduced European
>Starling in 
>On return to Melbourne from the coastal Victorian town of Queenscliff near
>Port Phillip Bay 
>heads a few weeks ago, Richard Loyn and myself made a brief visit to the Swan
>Bay wetlands 
>to check for water/wader birds.  While crossing the causeway to the island
>Richard noted 
>Starlings feeing on the mudflats just like medium sized waders do.  As we
>could not stop, 
>their food was not determined.  I thought this curious as I hadn't observed
>such behaviour 
>before by Starlings but gave it no further thought.
>Today I received some ~regular waterbird counts from Eileen Collins of
>Chiltern who is involved 
>in the Regent Honeyeater Recovery effort.  On one of the count sheets she
>noted 100s of 
>Starlings feeding in the shallows of Great Southern Swamp near Wangaratta in
>Victoria.      Coincidence?
>My theory is that due to the particularly dry summer in Victoria this season,
>the ground is 
>much harder to dig in if you're a Starling.  Wetland edges then might 'fit
>the bill' so to speak.
>Keep a look out for your next flock of Starlings and see where they are
>feeding.  Is this 
>'normal' or or at least not unusual behaviour for the species?
>Martin O'Brien
>Wildlife Policy Officer
>Flora and Fauna Branch
>Department of Natural Resources and Environment
>GPO Box 41
>East Melbourne,  3002
>Victoria, AUSTRALIA
>Tel: +61 3  9412 4273
>Fax: +61 3 9412 4586

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