The baby starlings in Jarvo's garden are all growing up fast. They are as big, if not bigger, than their parents, they can fly, walk and chew gum. They come and go as they please; frequently on their own. And they can feed themselves. But they won't do this if their parents are with them. For they are extremely manipulative. As manipulative as the young blackbird [photoblog.com] or the little humans that also live at Chez Jarvo. If mum or dad are with them, they like to show just how helpless they aren't by running their poor parents ragged. They have a number of strategies for doing this. Firstly they have a big wide gaping mouth that I'm sure Tinbergen could tell us something about. Secondly, they scream like little babies. And thirdly, they have the habit of fluffing up their feathers in front of their parents to look more chick-like. It's interesting to note that when there are a group of adolscent starlings together they all try to make their coats as flat as possible to make themselves look big and grown up - as soon as an adult arrives though they all revert to dependenant fluffyness.
191. Feed Me!