from: 1 August 2011 to 1 December 2013
It is with great pleasure that I, the eminently knowledgeable Professor William Starling, engage in this inter-species sharing of my extensive knowledge of (and ongoing research on) adaptation to changing environments, the phenomenon of “invasive species” and habitat loss. As you are no doubt aware, my line of the family Sturnus Vulgaris emigrated, with some assistance from your species, to North America in the early 1880s, landing in New York City’s Central Park at the invitation of a rather unusual and eccentric individual, one Eugene Schiefelin. It seems that Mr. Schiefelin desired that all of the songbirds appearing in the works of William Shakespeare be brought to American shores. He also believed that the introduction of my species would be of great benefit to agriculturalists — a belief that was at the heart of the formation of the Acclimatization Society, which Mr. Schiefelin had become local president of. Whether we have been of benefit remains open to debate. However, North America is a land where we have thrived and flourished; and we have adapted to a wide variety of landscapes and habitats including dense urban areas and your sprawling suburbs with their lawns and gardens.
While my kind is in shocking decline in our home range of Northern Europe and the United Kingdom, we have spread widely and remain ubiquitous across North America where our vast undulating flocks (called murmurations) can be a common occurrence. While I currently reside in Hamilton, my travels are extensive and I must say unique for a European Starling, as I regularly venture back and forth across the Atlantic and maintain a link with Starlings where ever they continue to flock. I have most recently returned from a delightful visit to the United Kingdom where I was able to undertake a series of perambulations of inquiry in Norfolk, London and Oxford. I am grateful to DodoLab (Lisa Hirmer and Andrew Hunter) for their ongoing support of my scholarship and travels. With their assistance, I have made arrangements to return to Central Park in New York City this coming autumn and will be out and about in the City of Hamilton and Windsor in the coming months.
I thank you for your interest and welcome your correspondence. If you wish to contact me, you may do so care of DodoLab’s various channels of communication.
A collaboration with Urban Arts Initiative and Notre Dame School in Hamilton
A publishing project with Proboscis
A collaboration with SB Contemporary Art and Art Gallery of Windsor
Meeting the good people of Hamilton
A Collaboration with Proboscis & a visit from Professor Starling
Hear about the demise of Ectopistes Migratorius.