European Starling

Sturnus vulgaris

Summary 2

The Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris), also known as the European Starling is a medium-sized glossy black bird which is speckled with white at some times of year. The legs are pink and the bill is black in winter and yellow in summer; young birds have browner plumage than the adults. Some sexual dimorphism exists. Males have elongate breast feathers and a bluish spot at the base of the beak whereas females have short breast plumage and a reddish pink speck at the base of the beak. Juveniles have more rounded wing tips and brownish-black bills (EOL).

Starlings often form large flocks.

Where on Campus? 3

Starlings can be seen all over campus, but particularly in the central quad near the library.

Habitat 3

Starlings are found in urban, suburban and agricultural areas.

Life History 4

Nesting Seasonally monogamous or polygamous. Starlings build cup nests inside of cavities. They lay 3-6 eggs and may have a second brood. They are known to evict other cavity-nesting birds from their holes in order to use them.

Feeding Starlings eat a wide variety of foods including worms, arthropods, seeds and fruits.

Distribution 5

Native to Eurasia; introduced in the U.S. in New York City in 1890. Now breeds from southeastern Alaska, across southern Canada, south through most of U.S. to southern Mexico and Caribbean.

Migration 6

Resident naturalized species

Sources and Credits

  1. (c) Arthur Chapman, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA), http://www.flickr.com/photos/32005048@N06/6164665952
  2. Adapted by gillian360 from a work by (c) Wikipedia, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sturnus_vulgaris
  3. (c) gillian360, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA)
  4. Adapted by gillian360 from a work by (c) The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA), http://eol.org/data_objects/18674817
  5. (c) NatureServe, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC), http://eol.org/data_objects/28916963
  6. (c) The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA), http://eol.org/data_objects/18674814

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