|Common starling (Sturnus vulgaris) on a twig. (by-nc-nd)|
24 June 2015
The common starling (Sturnus vulgaris), also known as the European starling, is a passerine bird in the starling family, Sturnidae. It is about 20 cm (8 in) long and has glossy black plumage, which is speckled with white at some times of year. The legs are pink and the bill is black in winter and yellow in summer. It is a noisy bird, especially in communal roosts and other gregarious situations, with a varied song that sometimes sounds like a wolf-whistle. Its gift for mimicry has been noted in literature including the Mabinogion and the works of Pliny the Elder and William Shakespeare (hmm, that would explain the wolf-whistling). Large flocks of this species can be beneficial to agriculture by controlling invertebrate pests; however, starlings can also be pests themselves when they feed on fruit and sprouting crops.
19 June 2015
18 June 2015
Iris pseudacorus (yellow flag, yellow iris, water flag) is a species in the genus Iris, of the family Iridaceae. It is native to Europe, western Asia and northwest Africa. The rhizome has historically been used as an herbal remedy, but when applied to the skin or inhaled, the tannin-rich juices can be acrid and irritating. Not only is yellow iris a beautiful ornamental plant, but also a form of water treatment since it has the ability to take up heavy metals through its roots.
|Iris pseudacorus (yellow flag, yellow iris, water flag) flower close-up. (© LightColourShade. All rights reserved)|