European Starling
Sturnus vulgaris
Family Sturnidae

* Feathers black, somewhat iridescent in spring. Heavily speckled in winter.
* Bill yellow in spring and summer, dark in winter.
* Tail short.
* Young birds are dusky brown.
* Head and body length: 7 1/2-8 1/2".

Natural History:
* Habitat: Open glades, meadows, parks, farms, cities. Nests built in tree cavities or eaves of houses. They are large and bulky, made out of straw, grass, and twigs, and lined with feathers,.
* Range: Throughout the United States.
* Voice: A sharp tseer or whistled whooee. Sometimes mimics the songs of other birds.
* Behavior: Feeds on insects, fruits, cherries, and grains.
* Introduced from Eurasia and North Africa, where starlings are native.

* European starlings were first introduced, unsuccessfully, to the United States in 1872, in Cincinnati. Repeated attempts were made to introduce the birds, until they were successfully brought to New York City in 1900. Rumor has it that their arrival was part of a scheme to bring birds mentioned in Shakespeare to America.

* Today, the aggressive starlings are considered pests; they exclude many native bird species from using the limited number of tree holes, and they move in large, noisy flocks during fall and winter.

Approved by NR


Created by: Niki Zhou and Carla Holleran
Maintained by: Nick Rodenhouse
Created: June 25, 2004
Last Modified: August 7, 2004
Expries: June 1, 2005