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Sunday, August 31, 2014

starlings came to America, unwillingly, from far, far away

European Starling
Like Kudzu vine, 'flying' Carp, fire ants, Burmese Pythons and Dutch Elm disease, starlings (technically European Starlings) didn’t occur naturally on this continent (like 99% of our birds).

An eccentric Shakespeare enthusiast released about 100 starlings in New York in the 1890s. He thought it a clever idea to bring to the “New World” every species mentioned in Shakespeare’s writings. Now we have over 200 million of them.  Alas!


Before you swat it…      America’s native pollinators cheerfully pollinate a whole lot of crops; our native bees alone do $3 billion worth of crop pollination that would otherwise have to be done by hired honeybees (which are mainly European in origin). As of yet, nobody has received a bill for all the pollination by home-grown pollinators.

Of course all honeybees (whatever their country of origin) are suffering greatly from the man-made eradication that's called "colony collapse syndrome".


OWEN YOST, in addition to being a blogger, is a licensed Landscape Architect emeritus who has lived and worked in north Texas for over 30 years. He is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award of the Native Plant Society of Texas, and is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), International Federation of Landscape Architects, National Wildlife Federation and the Audubon Society. His office is at in Denton.

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