Startling starling numbers appear in bird count

Startling starling numbers appear in bird count

AUDUBON: Invasive species has spread since its U.S. arrival in 1890s.

Anchorage Daily News

Published: December 27, 2005
Last Modified: December 27, 2005 at 03:04 AM

Look out, Anchorage woodpeckers. The starlings are coming -- and they just might be admiring your homes.

Local birders who participated in the recent 2005 Anchorage Christmas Bird Count noted a sharp increase in European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris), a sometimes aggressive species that's relatively new to Alaska.

Only three starlings were spotted in town a decade ago during the 1995 Christmas bird count, according to the local chapter of the National Audubon Society, which sponsors the annual survey.

Last year, there were 35. But observers who joined the Dec. 17 count found 156 European starlings, almost four times the old record.

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