Birds pink starlings. Food chain of pink starlings

Birds pink starlings. Food chain of pink starlings
Birds pink starlings. Food chain of pink starlings

The steppe zone, that part of it where hordes of locusts settle, is inhabited by beautiful birds - pink starlings. The closest relative of the pink starling is the common shpak. In appearance, this bird resembles, rather, a crow than an ordinary starling. The shpak and the pink starling have similar sizes, flight and some habits. And these relatives have nothing in common in color.

Description of the pink starling

The plumage covering the head and neck is painted black with a dark purple metallic sheen. Black feathers in the wings and tail gleam with greenish-purple hues. The remaining feathers are painted in delicate pale pink tones. Young pink starlings are covered with brown plumage. The color of the legs is reddish-brown. The coloration of males is brighter than that of females.

pink starlings

The pink beak of these birds is much thicker than that of common starlings. The head of the original birds is decorated with a cute black crest, formed by long feathers. Males flaunt more pronouncedtufted than females.

Behavioral features of the pink starling

It just so happened that the pink starling is a social bird, straying into giant strong flocks. It is almost impossible to see a highly social creature alone. Unique birds are kept by huge communities. Birds gather in flocks in dozens, and often hundreds. Flocks unite in gigantic colonies, including tens of thousands of pairs, excluding the younger generation.

relative of the pink starling

The birds fly pretty fast. They often flap their wings, rapidly sweeping over the ground. In flight, individuals adhere to each other. The flock that has risen into the sky looks like a solid dark lump. Having landed, the birds instantly disperse, continuing to run and making flights in one direction. As a result, the whole flock moves in one direction.

Distribution area

Throughout the winter, birds migrate, looking for food in the desert regions that spread across Iraq, Iran, India and Afghanistan. In spring, they migrate to southeastern Europe and the lands of Central Asia. They inhabit the Caucasus and southern Siberia.

rose starling food chain

Nesting characteristics

For nesting, the pink starling chooses unoccupied spaces near water. She is tempted by steppes, desert and semi-desert plains, rich in food, abounding in cliffs and rocks with clefts, steep coasts with small shelters, cracks, buildings with niches. In these secluded, hard-to-reach for predatorsbirds make nests in places.

Shpak is a relative of the pink starling, it nests in a completely different way. It is important for him to find a mate in early spring, build a nest, lay eggs and raise offspring. Relatives with a pink color are in no hurry to nest. Their colonies settle when an abundance of food accumulates in the nesting site. Larvae of locusts and grasshoppers grow up by mid-summer.

Starling nests

Nests of pink starlings build in crevices of rocks and fragments of cliffs, between stones, in minks built by swallows, in cracks on cliffs. In the steppes, nests are built in depressions in the ground.

A bird's nest is formed from a thin layer of dry plant stems. A careless layer of stems is covered with wormwood leaves, feathers dropped by steppe birds. When finished, the nests look like massive small bowls. From above, the nests are barely covered with rare grass or pebbles.

bird pink starling

In an area of ​​25 m2 pink starlings manage to place up to 20 nests. Nests are crowded one next to the other, sometimes touching the walls. From the outside, at first glance, it seems that this is just a chaotic pile of garbage. With such careless construction, the masonry becomes the prey of the voracious locust.

Pale gray eggs in nests appear in May. A full clutch contains 4-7 eggs. The chicks, which appeared after 5 weeks in an atmosphere of crowding and complete confusion, become the common property of all adults. Couples that have lost their offspring due to the fault of the locust painlessly experience the loss by feeding strangerschicks.

Growing up chicks do not shy away from adult counterparts. They willingly take over the food of any bird that happens to be nearby. In the realm of constant crowding and confusion, adult birds distribute food indiscriminately, satisfying the hunger of their own and neighboring young.

Features of hunting

The birds hunt in an original way. A huge bird cloud, having landed in the hunting grounds, organizes itself in dense lines in an organized manner. Birds move in one direction, maintaining a distance of 10 centimeters. They snatch grasshoppers and locusts from grassland as they run.

pink starling social bird

Each bird is absorbed in its own occupation so that it is not able to interfere with the hunting of neighbors. During the period of well-coordinated hunting, not a single starling is left for nothing. Everyone not only eats their fill, but also feeds their offspring to satiety.

The offspring in the colony grows together. After a month and a half, the young flies out of secluded nests. As soon as the chicks get stronger and leave the nests, the colony will be removed from their homes, scattered into separate flocks and begin to lead a nomadic lifestyle.

Pink starling food chain

The pink starling can be called a great traveler, an experienced nomad and just a flock of a tramp. All these terms hit the spot when it comes to birds from the starling family. Birds are forced to roam, because the food chain of pink starlings is based on the key insect - locust.

Starlings, chasing locusts, willy-nilly wander. Eating locusts is beneficial. The harmful insectadapted to life alone. Locusts move in huge arrays. Therefore, starlings are not just flocking creatures, like other birds. They are collective creatures, living year-round in strong flocks.

Adult requires 200 g of complete food per day. A colony of ten thousand pairs, burdened with offspring, destroys about 108 tons of locusts per month. To feed themselves, huge colonies settle to nest in places filled with locusts and other orthopteran insects.

whether it is necessary to reduce the number of pink starling

Having caught a locust, the bird cuts off its legs and wings, hitting the insect on the ground and deftly wielding its beak. Having broken the victim into pieces, she begins to swallow them. With an abundance of locusts, birds do not so much eat insects as simply maim and kill.

The pink starlings' limited food chain forces them to chase insects, making it impossible for them to own their homes to which they would return from hibernation. The biology of birds is tied to feeding on locusts and other orthoptera. Birds appear only where there are locusts. If there is not enough of it in any place, the pink starling is able to make huge flights in search of food.

However, locusts and orthoptera are not the only food of pink starlings. They enjoy eating berries, weed seeds and rice. Birds can cause considerable damage in cherry and cherry orchards, vineyards and rice plantations. In addition, starlings feed on beetles, lepidoptera, spiders andants.

Harmful or beneficial

During the ripening period of the berries, vagrant starlings turn into a real disaster for gardeners. Therefore, a natural question arises as to whether it is necessary to reduce the number of the pink starling, which is characterized by excessive voracity. Does the benefit of eliminating pests during their mass development compensate for the damage delivered to crops in gardens?

pink starling in search of food is able to make

To answer this question, you should make some simple calculations. In captivity, the bird is able to eat up to 300 harmful insects. A colony of one and a half thousand pairs during the day will destroy about a million harmful creatures.

In addition, pink starlings settle in huge colonies only where pests multiply en masse. At the same time, the birds know in advance about the danger that people are able to notice only when it becomes obvious. Considering that locusts destroy everything without regret, starlings become a real salvation for the crop. The harm of birds pales in comparison to the disaster brought by locusts.

Popular topic