Sunday morning I was making myself coffee, when I noticed a starling couple on the lawn outside my kitchen window. Both birds were pecking away at the ground, looking for edibles. Suddenly, the female hurried over to the male, they “kissed” (touched beaks), then the male mounted the female – for one second. (Had I blinked, you wouldn’t be reading this.) Then the male moved about 4 feet away and the female followed him, keeping that distance between them. Even in a tree, they keep that distance:
This may be the same couple of birds, spotted this afternoon. Here are some close-ups of the male (more uniformly black with some a gorgeous iridescent “ruff”) and the browner, far more speckled female.