These rascals, who strut around like little Mafioso, converge on diners at the Boat House in Central Park and the minute a person isn’t looking they steal their food.
Starlings are very smart and are mimics. I read a charming little book about one called Arnie, the Darling Starling: Margarete Sigl Corbo, Diane Marie Barras, Leslie Morrill: Amazon Books:
“The true story of a talking starling and the grandmother who raised him is as heartwarming a book as you will ever read. When Margarete first came upon Arnie, he was just a familiar springtime sight: a baby bird lying helpless in the daisy patch. After unsuccessfully trying to return him to his nest, she took him into her Texas home and raised him as carefully as she had raised her own child, teaching him to perch, to fly, even to talk. Arnie resisted all attempts to restore him to the wild, preferring steak and canned corn to worms, which frightened him, and even developing a taste for wine. Arnie is full of life, laughter, and love. It is a completely irresistible book.”
The spectacular aerial feat that a murmuration of starlings performs (Video by Dylan Winter):
Eugene Schiefelin, a member of The Acclimatization Society, wanted to introduce all the birds mentioned in Shakespeare. He released about a hundred starlings in New York City’s Central Park in 1890 and 1891. By 1950 starlings could be found coast to coast, north past Hudson Bay and south into Mexico. Today their North American numbers are over 200 million. (Source: “Call of the Reviled” Scientific American).