This unlucky starling got pinned down over and over as he was bullied by two others in what looked like a fight for survival.
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Sharon Delport, a wildlife lover and enthusiast, had front-row seats to this crazy sighting. She shared her video and story with LatestSightings.com.
The story begins shortly after Sharon and her husband enjoyed a delightful breakfast at Mugg & Bean in the Lower Sabie Rest Camp, Kruger National Park. With the Sabie River providing a beautiful backdrop, Sharon and her husband had begun heading back to their vehicle. However, a strange sight on the ground caught her husband’s attention.
Initially, it seemed like a poor starling had somehow been injured and was lying dead on the ground. But as they neared the bird, they discovered that the small starling was in distress. It was injured and had its feathers all ruffled; he looked scared!
Suddenly, out of nowhere, two other starlings flew in with extreme speed. They weren’t there to help, though. One of them pinned the unlucky starling to the ground, while the other started pecking at its head.
The attack was relentless, and the little bird was in no way getting out of it; he looked as though he was going to succumb to the attack. At one point, the one starling had the scared bird pinned by his legs while the other held it by its beak. This basically left the terrified starling motionless and unable to do anything.
And then suddenly, out of nowhere he got new strength and he puffed himself up. He managed to wiggle his way loose and flew a few meters. Unfortunately, each time he managed to escape, flying a short distance, the attackers were quick to chase him and continue their assault; they were right behind him, diving and swooping in the air and pinning him to the ground over and over.
Birds Pin Down Rival
But miraculously, the poor bird found an opening and made a daring escape. He didn’t peck at them but basically just waited for the perfect opportunity. He broke free and flew off, hopefully to tend to his injuries and recover from the beating he just received.
One might wonder why these starlings behaved so aggressively towards one of their own. In birds, such behavior is often driven by natural instincts. It could be a territorial dispute where the starlings tried to assert dominance over their area.
Sometimes, birds attack others if they perceive a threat to their food source or nesting area, especially if resources are scarce. Another possibility is that the targeted starling was unwell or behaving unusually, prompting the others to respond aggressively, as birds can sometimes ostracize or attack a member who appears weak or sick. This complex social interaction among birds, although startling to witness, is a natural part of their survival in the wild.