Thursday, March 26, 2009

Hanging out with the Wrong Crowd

European Starling -Sternus vulgaris

Starlings, Blackbirds, Cowbirds, Crows...

Messy, noisy, bullying thieves...

Intelligent, adaptable, gregarious, communal...

These "bad birds" have their own unique beauty and are here to stay.

Click image to view in large. Thanks Denise for permission to post

Denise at An English Girl Rambles posted this wonderful photo of the feeders in her yard and added the Oscar Wilde quote. Oscar Wilde ran with the wrong crowd himself, but his intelligence and wit was exceptional making him a hugely popular playwright, poet and novelist in Victorian England.

Denise, you need to market this picture. It would make a great greeting card or poster.

Even if we didn't hang out with the bad crowd when we were younger, we always talked about them and watched them with a mixture of admiration, fear and disgust.

Which crowd do you fit in with? Those pesky blackbirds or the lovely songbirds?


  1. I loved this post! When you say they are intelligent, adaptable, gregarious...hmm...I'll have to think about which crowd I would fit in with.

    You are so correct that even if we didn't hang out with the wrong crowd, there was something in us that admired them.

  2. HA!!! Love that picture!

  3. What a great morning chuckle!! We can always count on Wilde for a good one-liner (i.e. his dying words - "Either that wallpaper goes or I do!") And the starling has just the right delivery. I think I am a songbird with a crow heart.

  4. Anonymous2:38 pm GMT-4

    Lol, I would probably be one of those black birds! :-D I find them really cute, lol!

  5. Great post as always.....

    I just love that photograph.....there have been so many programmes on Oscar Wilde and I have loved everyone of them.....

    I wish I could say I hung out with the wrong would have been fun.....

    But my Mum would have killed I was a songbird......

  6. Anonymous5:30 pm GMT-4

    Great pic, but my experience is very different. I ran with every crowd, but not with clicques (those whispering little groups) - is that what you mean?

  7. I never did fit in with crowds.I would be one of the birds at the edge of a flock.-I like the bird photo with the quote.

  8. Anonymous8:09 pm GMT-4

    I float between both groups depending on the day..LOL..

  9. I use All About Birds almost everyday, how did you get that website?

  10. Funny Oscar Wilde quote, especially coming out of the bird's mouth!

  11. We have had a sudden influx of grackles--another annoying bird like starlings.
    I can't help but admire their glossy blue-black-purple-magenta-green feathers. So lovely in the sun.
    OK--so they are annoying, but I forgive them that for a glimpse of those lovely feathers.
    After all, I put up with squirrels raiding the bird feeders all the time. Why not the starlings.

  12. I'm definately a Raven.

    When you march to a different drummer you stand out in a crowd. Not necessarily the wrong crowd.

    Nice captures. Love Denise's image.

  13. Ruth,

    Enjoyed your post.

    We didn't really get to hang out with any crowd. We were from the rural area and we didn't go far in our youth. We went to school and then went directly to work. We didn't have time to hang out with the bad crowd. LOL So, I guess, in our own way, we were songbirds.

    Have a great weekend.

  14. LOL... I am definitely a songbird as I was always too afraid of being caught!

  15. Thanks for all the comments. I am sure we all have some "blackbird" in us. Gaelyn, I still haven't seen a raven but they stand out even amongst the other blackbirds. Jeanette, I think of the "wrong crowd" at highschool (this was the 60's, early 70's) as being the ones who stood outside to smoke (whatever), didn't study and were the true hippies/non-conformists of my generation. I was afraid of them but now some are my friends. My daughters had more issues with the "cool crowd" at highschool.

  16. Haha! I like that starling "shouting" at the grackle!

  17. Ruth,

    Having dropped back through time as recorded on your posts . . I see you've had a beautiful past few months - with apparently some time out for surgery.

    There's so much here - I love your sky shots. The streamers coming off Lake Erie are incredible.

    I'm really amazed at the wildlife you have around you.

    Hope all is going well with your knee (s?) I didn't see details.

  18. What a fun post! I actually like crows but I can do without the starlings and great-tailed grackles! I love Oscar Wilde's story about the Selfish Giant. Have you read it?

  19. Kathie- Thanks for letting me know about his children's stories. They are beautiful, particularly the one of The Selfish Giant. (I read them online) I would never have believed they were Oscar Wilde unlike his plays.

  20. A fun post Ruth! I found out this week too that the birds I consider nasty still have a good side. I guess sometimes with birds, as well as people, we have to look a little deeper for their redeeming qualities.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.