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Starling Talk
Care and Rehabilitation of Injured and
Orphaned Starlings

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Part Two -- witten by Izumi Kyle

During his later years, Kuro was less playful and energetic but still very affectionate. He lost some of his voice and so words and whistles became less clear. He would allow us to scratch his head and help him molt whereas earlier he may have been less open to us stroking parts of his body. He also had to be put in a cage to sleep, as a couple of times he fell from his makeshift nest. Even in his old age, when all his sisters "flew out of the nest" he stayed close to my parents and would greet us excitedly any time any of the sisters would come home for a visit.

Kuro's family
The author, Izumi, with her sisters and parents. Izumi is in the front row wearing the pinkish
shirt. Beside Izumi is Nana, and Ayumi is behind Izumi. Meg is on the right wearing blue.

As the only remaining one in "the nest", my parents treated him like a spoiled, youngest child; my mother made a hand-crafted futon sized perfectly to Kuro's size. And every morning, my mother would prepare four different dishes, especially chopped in starling-bite sizes and that covered all four food groups. Kuro's favorite dishes were: tofu, shrimp, and chopped vegetables. He especially loved traditional Japanese food. He was so spoiled in fact, that even if the fridge was empty of "human food", my mother would only make the trip to the grocery store if one of Kuro's staple foods ran out!

Kuro and his Guinness World Record certificate
Kuro and his Guinness World Record Certificate

Kuro, lived a great, long life. He saw me grow from a primary school child to a university student to a married, grown-up adult. In 1999, at the age of eighteen, he made it to the Guinness World record, as the "world's oldest domesticated starling". Even though his feathers were thinning and he had arthritis in his legs, he still had his loving, affectionate character. He lived another year to the age of 19 and passed away in December 2000. My parents were by his side until the end. Our whole family was devastated and felt an incredible loss without our Kuro. We mourned for weeks and continue to feel very saddened by his loss. I still think about him often and remember all the wonderful experiences as if it was yesterday. I tear at times thinking about him and have many dreams that he is still with us. I really miss him and often reflect on how much joy he brought to our family -- all his mischief, songs, hours sleeping with us and eating meals with the family..... We keep all his memories in our hearts. ~Izumi

See additional photos of Kuro: Kuro's Photos

A very special thank you to Izumi for her wonderful stories and photos of Kuro.

*A limited number of Kuro's books are still available by writing to Izumi at:

Back to Kuro's Story, Part One
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Copyright © 1999-2011 Jackie Collins - All rights reserved.