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Mozart’s Starling By Lyanda Lynn Haupt“Mozart’s Starling”

By Lyanda Lynn Haupt

“Mozart’s Starling” is part biography, part natural history, part memoir, a story of nature’s tremendous impact on our language, music and creativity. In 1784, the great composer acquired a pet songbird from a Vienna pet shop after hearing it mimic his own Piano Concerto No. 17. In 2014, Seattle writer Lyanda Lynn Haupt rescued a baby bird and found herself fascinated by the same playful spirit that must have charmed her favorite composer. She decided to create her own experiment and document it. Both birds were starlings, which are often described as “rats with wings,” Haupt writes, because they invade other birds’ habitats and nests, seemingly gleefully, and munch on agricultural crops. A seasoned birder, Haupt has written a book that may make us reconsider the starling — and Mozart as well.

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