[141], Alternatives to managing starling populations in agricultural areas include the use of starlicide. A pair can raise up to three broods per year, frequently reusing and relining the same nest,[29] although two broods is typical,[15] or just one north of 48°N. 0000002381 00000 n When I did I noticed the bird would drive its closed spear-like beak straight down into the grass, then open it up, spreading apart the blades of grass as it searched for insects. Their beaks then become yellow. Like the nominate, but gloss on the head predominantly purple, on the back green, on the flanks usually purplish-blue, on the upper wing-coverts bluish-green. Adult with darker and duller green gloss and far less spotting, even in fresh plumage. The bright yellow bill and orange legs contrast sharply with the blackish body. The breeding range spread through southern France to northeastern Spain, and there were other range expansions particularly in Italy, Austria and Finland. Its song consists of a wide variety of both melodic and mechanical-sounding noises as part of a ritual succession of sounds. Sturnus vulgaris . Fledglings continue to be fed by their parents for another one or two weeks. (The four points made by a flying starling’s bill, wingtips, and runty tail explain its “star”-referencing name.). [65], Common starlings take advantage of agricultural fields, livestock facilities, and other human related sources of food and nest sites. European Starlings commonly forage in mixed flocks with blackbirds and grackles (as well as occasionally with American Robins, pigeons, and sparrows), but as long as you can get a decent bead on them they should stand out from the pack with their bright bills, dark eyes, stub tails, and wintertime speckles. After this variable section comes a number of types of repeated clicks followed by a final burst of high-frequency song, again formed of several types. Small; green gloss restricted to the head and lower belly and back, otherwise glossed purple. Several birds may be kept in the same cage, and their inquisitiveness makes them easy to train or study. Pairs may be part of a colony, in which case several other nests may occupy the same or nearby trees. Croix. These take two weeks to hatch and the young remain in the nest for another three weeks. [13][20] They can usually be sexed by the colour of the irises, rich brown in males, mouse-brown or grey in females. 0000001238 00000 n Nov 21, 2018 - European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) in Wisconsin, USA by Rick Schultz. In the presence of a female, a male sometimes flies to his nest and sings from the entrance, apparently attempting to entice the female in. Brian J. Holmes Mark Mayer . They tend to forage in flocks – again, not uncommonly counting blackbirds and other species in their ranks. 0000004120 00000 n [99] The original 60 birds have since swelled in number to 150 million, occupying an area extending from southern Canada and Alaska to Central America. Needless to say, when it came to the European Starling, the Society’s efforts were a raging success: Better than 200 million screech, whistle, and flutter from Alaska to Mexico, and coast to coast. They gather in March until northern Scandinavian birds leave for their breeding ranges by mid-April. You can listen to examples of the European Starling call song here. As a result, it has also been able to migrate to Thailand, Southeast Asia and New Guinea. This highly successful and intelligent creature is perfectly adapted to locating insects among the low-growing ground vegetation. eval(ez_write_tag([[336,280],'backyardbirdingblog_com-medrectangle-4','ezslot_3',132,'0','0']));European Starlings are roughly the size of a typical blackbird: some eight or nine inches long, with a wingspan of 12 to 16 inches. The adaptable European Starling has colonized most of North America outside of the Arctic: not too shabby, given it’s only been here a bit more than a century. [5] The older name is referenced in William Butler Yeats' poem "The Stare's Nest by My Window". Starlings associate with man amazingly well. [63][64] Common mynas (Acridotheres tristis) sometimes evict eggs, nestlings and adult common starlings from their nests,[29] and the lesser honeyguide (Indicator minor), a brood parasite, uses the common starling as a host. Introduced Birds of the World. [35], The common starling is largely insectivorous and feeds on both pest and other arthropods. Like the nominate, but the wings longer and green gloss restricted to the ear-coverts, neck and upper chest. [88], Common starlings in the south and west of Europe and south of latitude 40°N are mainly resident,[24] although other populations migrate from regions where the winter is harsh, the ground frozen and food scarce. [37][38][39] The Sturnidae differ from most birds in that they cannot easily metabolise foods containing high levels of sucrose, although they can cope with other fruits such as grapes and cherries. He advised me to watch a starling closely the next time I saw one strutting on the lawn. Captive starlings have been found to be able to mimic many sounds including human words and phrases, music, throat clearing, coughing, laughing, kissing, squeaking door, barking dogs, keys rattling and an alarm clock. [76] Larvae of the moth Hofmannophila pseudospretella are nest scavengers, which feed on animal material such as faeces or dead nestlings. The common starling (Sturnus vulgaris), also known as the European starling in the United States or simply the starling in the British Isles, is a medium-sized passerine bird in the starling family, Sturnidae.It is about 20 cm (8 in) long and has glossy black plumage with a metallic sheen, which is speckled with white at some times of year. There are normally one or two breeding attempts each year. 575 0 obj <> endobj [7], The starling family, Sturnidae, is an entirely Old World group apart from introductions elsewhere, with the greatest numbers of species in Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. [61][62], More than twenty species of hawk, owl and falcon are known to occasionally predate feral starlings in North America, though the most regular predators of adults are likely to be urban-living peregrine falcons or merlins (Falco columbarius). [35] Other people who have owned common starlings report how adept they are at picking up phrases and expressions. 0000000016 00000 n This behaviour, first described by Konrad Lorenz and given the German term zirkeln,[41] is also used to create and widen holes in plastic garbage bags. Starlings associate with man amazingly well. [139] Weather conditions also had an impact on whether starlings visited livestock feeding operations, with a higher likelihood to visit in colder temperatures or following snow storms. Though they’re sometimes resented for their abundance and aggressiveness, they’re still dazzling birds when you get a good look. [140][139] An additional solution for mitigation control involves ensuring that livestock feeding operations are not within close proximity of each other or starling roosts. [15] The plumage is iridescent black, glossed purple or green, and spangled with white, especially in winter. Despite this, its huge global population is not thought to be declining significantly, so the common starling is classified as being of Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. [45] Nests are typically made out of straw, dry grass and twigs with an inner lining made up of feathers, wool and soft leaves. 21–493, Lesna, I; Wolfs, P; Faraji, F; Roy, L; Komdeur, J; Sabelis, M W. "Candidate predators for biological control of the poultry red mite, Woolnough, Andrew P; Massam, Marion C; Payne, Ron L; Pickles, Greg S "Out on the border: keeping starlings out of Western Australia" in Parkes.

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