Friday, May 28, 2010

Starlings in My Roof

I've got sturnus vulgaris in my soffit. Well maybe it's my gutter or fascia. Anyway there are starlings nesting in my roof. This is at least the second year this has happened. Some plaster has fallen from the soffit or fascia or whatever leaving a gap which they use. The chicks (at least two) have hatched and both parents are feeding them. See picture above. Apparently there may be a second brood later.

This reminds me of Yeats and his poem Meditations In Time Of Civil War one part of which is entitled The Stare's Nest by My Window:

The bees build in the crevices

Of loosening masonry, and there

The mother birds bring grubs and flies.

My wall is loosening, honey bees

Come build in the empty house of the stare.

We are closed in, and the key turned

On our uncertainty; somewhere

A man is killed, or a house is burned,

Yet no clear fact to be discerned:

Come build in the empty house of the stare.

Yeats' notes on the poem included: I was in my Galway house during the first months of civil war, the railway bridges blown up and the roads blocked with stones and trees. One felt an overmastering desire not to grow unhappy or embittered, not to lose all sense of the beauty of nature. A stare (our West of Ireland name for a starling) had built in a hole beside my window and I made these verses out of the feeling of the moment.

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