Stars was a teacher. She may not have been what most rehabbers think of as an educational bird. She didn’t travel with me to events and sit on a perch while I taught the public about wildlife. But Stars taught people all over the world. She taught them about how even seemingly common beings could be exceptional. She taught them how amazingly intelligent birds can be. She taught them how humans are not the only animals capable of using human speech to communicate their thoughts. She taught them that birds actually have thoughts worth communicating. And she taught them with her own words.
No one who met her, in person or through her online presence, will forget Stars. She changed lives, and she changed hearts, as she gave people something to think about, to laugh about, and to wonder about.
Stars wasn’t just Sturnus vulgaris, a common Starling. She was a teacher, an entertainer, a companion, and a friend. There is really nothing common about the Starling, to begin with. They are funny, bright, communicative, intelligent souls. And there was most definitely nothing common about Stars. Even among Starlings, she will always be a star.
Stars was my Mommy’s Bird. I’ll miss her every day of my life. I’ve been told by her friends that a lot of other people are going to miss Stars, too.
Cancer is a horrible disease, and if there is a devil incarnate, I suspect he lives in cancer cells all over the world. It has taken many of my, and your, loved ones of all species. It took Stars so fast, my head is still spinning. We were scrambling to get her help, and had an appointment with Cornell’s Wildlife Health Center just a few days later. She didn’t make it there. Fate had other ideas.
I know that Stars would want to thank everyone, all her friends and fans, for all of the love that has been sent her way. Some might say a Starling wouldn’t understand enough to feel grateful for such love. But I know, and you know, that Stars would. She would call you all her hamsters, her very favorite word to use about things that made her happy. And you are all my hamsters, too.
The vets and techs at Cornell’s Wildlife Health Center were wonderful. Even though we never quite got to see them, they took a sincere and compassionate interest in my little bird. Since much of their funding comes through donations, I’m sure they would appreciate a gift in Stars the Starling’s name. Visit them at
There, you will find a “Make a Gift Online” button.
Stars and Stripes, and all my birds, came to me through New York Wildlife Rescue Center. Wes, Kelly, and all the volunteers there, are some of Stars’ favorite humans. They were incredibly supportive and helpful during her swift decline. I couldn’t have survived the whirlwind without them. NYWRC is always in need of donations, and is a cause dear to my heart. I’ll be sure your donation is registered in memory of Stars, if you so request. Donations can be made through their website:
From now on, whenever you see a Starling (or, for that matter, a hamster), I hope you will think of Stars. Imagine her in the heavens, looking down on me, and saying in her little space-alien voice….
“I’m watching Mommy!”
(Note: mp3 file at the above link may not work on a cellphone or other mobile browser. You may have to listen to it on your computer.)
News and Updates:
You really never know what life is going to throw at you. Thank you for your patience as I adjust to loss, heal new injuries, and try and assimilate the many changes that have occurred recently.
As always, please continue to visit my website for updates, changes of schedule, etc. I will always try to keep the Unavailable Times page current, and you can also follow my Twitter announcements in the sidebar.
Blessings and Light,