Surprise number three during this week’s backyard observations was the presence of several European Starlings. I counted up to ten starlings. We see a starling occasionally during the summer but never had them as a visitor during the winter months. They seem also to flock together with the American Robins in order to have bigger survival chances. The behavior of the birds shows that there is more than one hawk in the area. If a hawk or Bald Eagle is detected, the birds fly panicky into the higher trees or just freeze motionless, for example the woodpeckers, at their current position. Starlings have a bad reputation in my home country Germany as “cherry thieves”. There are just so many over there. I never realized actually how pretty they are until I started photographing them here in eastern Iowa.