Sturnus vulgaris


Slightly smaller than a Song Thrush in size, the Starling is mostly black in colour with a purple/blue iridescent sheen to its breast that becomes green on the flanks. Both sexes have fine flecks of buff/white on the rump, wings and mantle, which become more prominent in winter, but the male has fewer of these flecks than the female.

Juveniles lack the black base colour and iridescence of the adults and are a buffish grey colour with a lighter creamy coloured throat.

Size: 20-23cm

Weight: 75-90g

Habitat: Urban and rural settings such as farmland, parks, gardens, towns and sewage farms.

Nesting: April to May. Will readily take to artificial nests.

Eggs: 1-2 broods of 4-7 pale blue green eggs, incubated for 10-14 days.

Food: Although notorious for not being fussy about what they eat, Starlings will only feed nutritious insects and other invertebrates to their young. They themselves will eat all manner of kitchen scraps and fruit (often from rubbish dumps) and are renowned for being the bully of the bird table. They feed in flocks and can dominate feeders and tables and clear them of food before other species get a look in, which can make them unpopular with many birders.

Call: Call is a series of 'whistles', 'clicks' and 'wheezes', but will mimic calls of other birds and man made objects such as telephones!

Characteristics: Starlings have a reputation for being 'bully boy' like and vulgar in character, which in our opinion is unfair. When observed for any length of time they are fascinating and very attractive creatures that get up to all sorts of antics. Starlings are particularly amusing at bath times, when they can be seen furiously splashing. When finished however, you cannot guarantee that there will be enough water left for anyone else!!