The Saga Continues: Starlings – 1, Me – 0

Curiosity helps transform tolerance into acceptance


The starlings and I are coming to an arrangement.

They aren’t as annoying and I’m not hell bent on shooing them away.



I’ll be honest.

They’ve done nothing.

Except for one with the audacity to eat a peanut in plain view.

I was hooked.

Curiosity got the better of me.


Blue jays would have pinned the shell, poked a hole and flown off with the prize inside within a minute.

Apparently, the starling hadn’t read the manual.

For 5, maybe 10 minutes I watched the starling work at the peanut,

beak stretched to the limits by the large shell.

Head shake after head shake produced no results.


“Smash the peanut on the ground,” I urged him on through the window.

“Are you ever going to poke the shell?”

Even after dropping the shell once or twice, head shaking was the method of choice.

That’s going to be one hungry starling when this is done.


The shell popped out of his beak once again.

Only slightly smaller this time.

More head shakes.

Another drop.

A shake.



A peck at the ground returned a nugget of white.

Head toss this time. No shake.

Beak closed. Nugget gone.


Well I’ll be damned.

The starling got the peanut after all.

The shear force of the starling’s beak clamping down snapped the peanut shell open.

Who needs pokes or smashing when you come with vice grips.


(Note to self: don’t put finger anywhere near a starling’s jaws of terror.)


I could feel my annoyance with starlings staring to slip away.

Curiosity chiseled out a crack for awe and respect to seep through.

If I found their jaws fascinating, could there be other things too?


And so, the slippery slope towards acceptance begins.

Not that I’m all the way there yet.

More like 7/8ths of the way beyond tolerance with acceptance fully within reach.

Is there a word for that space?

In between the “putting up with” of tolerance and the “not struggling against” of acceptance.


I don’t have to like them.

But I don’t have to not like them either.

Not liking takes a lot of effort to maintain.

Especially when they can do something cool.

And curiosity wants to discover what else there is to know.



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Not quite a crazy cat lady (yet?) – Lorraine’s insatiable curiosity of life leads her to explore, question and push beyond the box. A self-professed “left-brained creative big picture idea” type, she has an intuitive knack for seeing possibility everywhere and in everyone, and is a moth-to-flame for being part of making that possibility come true.


  1. Dawn Hanson on May 31, 2017 at 1:18 am

    This touched the way I try to wander about life. Starlings and Magpies-got to admire their tenacity in the face of all that think they don’t like them.
    Heard a quote on time I loved and I will probably not get it quite right but,
    “We fear what we don’t know”.
    “We demonize what we fear”.
    Struck a chord. The more we know of another, critter or person, the less likely we are to condemn.
    My dad died last Wednesday, we had a complex, testy relationship for many years until I chose not to fight with him.
    Then we became friends and forgiveness flowed.
    There has been a handsome magpie following me about my garden duties since dad passed. Pretty sure…

    • Lorraine on May 31, 2017 at 1:41 pm

      Dawn, so sorry to hear about your dad’s passing. Your relationship with him is a beautiful example of what can happen when even just one shifts the dynamic. How appropriate a magpie has been following you around. Very funny choice. 🙂

      Love the quote. So, so true. The unknown may be scary, but we have a choice in how we deal with that. Condemning is easy. Taking the time to know another … there’s a much bigger investment. Not just time. Personally. And risk. Risking having to change once you do know more. Or not changing in spite of what you know.

      If all we learned was tenacity from magpies and starlings, that would be huge in itself.

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