The balcony accommodates starling birds

“Birds choose a blessed land”. On the morning of June 19, 2020, my family went to the balcony to water flowers and accidentally found a bird’s nest built next to the hanging orchid pot, which I observed in a hidden place as a pair of wild starlings. On the 22nd, the first egg was laid in the nest, and I happily took a picture with my mobile phone and sent it to my friends. The screen name Xue Shuiju Wenyou uploaded the message to “Today’s Headlines” for publication. A few pots of flowers raised on the balcony have attracted butterflies and bees to “be guests”, but it is the first time that birds have come to nest.

Starlings are listed on the IUCN 2012 Red List of Threatened Species. Although it is relatively common in Lunan, it is also a beneficial, ecologically important and scientific research value of “three haves” wild protected birds. By the 26th, four eggs had been laid in the nest. In the following time, my family and I became “bird nannies”, the balcony could no longer go to laundry, and my grandson Zhang Yiming (9 years old) could no longer come to my grandparents’ house to play. Every morning at about 7 o’clock when the female leaves the nest to eat, she watered the flowers to protect the “baby bird” from hatching and breaking its shell.

On July 1, the community of the Red Shield Community (Building 1) where I live was about to paint the exterior wall, and the female bird was frightened and left the nest, and the four eggs lay quietly in the nest, and there was no trace of the female or male bird. At this moment, I am worried, thinking that Big Bird may have abandoned this nest and will not return. It wasn’t until the construction crew left work, at about 6 p.m., that I quietly found through the ventilation in the middle of the curtain that there was a black thing lying in the nest, and finally saw the bird in the nest. Time passed, and the birds were safe and secure in the flowers and green.

Starling is a kind of bird that is relatively close to humans, it is mostly black, bright and shiny feathers, large and bulging eyes, golden eye circles, milky yellow mouth, legs, feet are yellow, identify a place is basically perennial activities, and this bird is “monogamous”. The breeding period is from May to July each year, after mating in pairs, they nest together with grass and mud. Each clutch lays 4 to 6 eggs. The female incubates the eggs and the male stands guard to guard the nest for a period of 15 to 18 days. The diet is based on seeds, fruits, cereals, insects, grasses, and young shoots of various plants.

Since settling on the front balcony of the third floor where I live, the starlings have gradually become emboldened when they see that humans are not dangerous to them, and when I gently open the balcony door, they no longer fly away vigilantly, but continue to hatch in the nest. A bird enthusiast from other places, after learning about it from the media, contacted me and wanted to buy the young birds at a high price after they came out of the shell. I declined to say, “Love the birds and let nature go.” “Respect your wishes,” he said. Bian Hongzhong, the old squad leader and later the old chief when I was in the army; My nephew Zhang Yunluo sent me WeChat messages from Changsha, Hunan Province and Qianxian Province, Guizhou, praising me for “protecting the ecology and not being moved by money”.

At noon on July 8, after the first bird came out of the shell, I observed in the dark for nearly an hour, the female and male birds stood on the edge of the nest, looked at each other, looked down at the nest, and kissed with their heads held high. When the chicks first emerge from their shells, they are naked, their eyes cannot be opened, they appear very weak, and they open their mouths from time to time to beg for food. After about four hours, the top of the head grows yellowish sparse hairs and the wings grow black hairs. Two more chicks broke their shells after two days, and three little starlings hatched after more than 10 days. The young birds stay in the nest waiting to be fed, the big birds find food to feed to the little birds, stay on the balcony for a minute or two, fly out to find food, and so on and forth, countless times a day. After Starling settled on the balcony, Zhang Maobing, a volunteer for wildlife protection in Zaozhuang City and a market supervision administration bureau in Xuecheng District, gave technical guidance, saying: “Protect birds, protect biodiversity, and continue the harmonious coexistence between man and nature.” ”

On the morning of the first day of the sixth month of the lunar calendar (July 21), I went to the balcony to take pictures of the birds and found that there was one missing, it turned out that this day was “Xiao Nian”, and the residents set off firecrackers, and one of the birds was frightened and fell from the nest and fell into the garden downstairs. When I came here to look for it, two big birds were singing wildly above my head, and I didn’t find the little bird and went upstairs. After 10 minutes of restlessness indoors, I went downstairs again, and this time I finally found it, birds chirping under the flowers. When I took it upstairs and put it in the nest, the happy family was reunited again. The lover watched the birds grow up day by day, afraid that the big birds would not be able to feed the birds, so she boiled the eggs and mashed the yolks and put them on the balcony. At this time, a pair of cuckoos were attracted to feed, but the big starling found out and launched an attack on the cuckoo, and the docile cuckoo immediately withdrew.

The chicks hatch for half a month and then leave the nest. Let us witness the magical moment when the “baby bird” flies out of the nest, soars into the sky, soars in the vast world, and blends into nature. During the time spent with Starling Birds, I experienced the fun of man and nature, and it was full of fun without words. Happy starlings should know that there was once a family that guarded them like this. After leaving the nest, they can “listen to their sounds” every day and expect them to return to their “hometown”.

Birds live in good homes, and the world is blessed.

Author: Zhang Jian

Tonglian: Zaozhuang Xuecheng District Market Supervision Administration Party Committee Veteran Cadre Branch

The balcony accommodates starling birds