a Eurasian species introduced into New York's Central Park in 1890, the European
Starling is now abundant throughout the United States and into Southern
Canada. Unfortunately, it competes with native species for
nesting locations, causing a population decline for species such as the Eastern
Bluebird and Red-headed Woodpecker.
European Starlings are quite gregarious, and may form very large flocks.
Habitat: Urban centers, farmsteads and farm
fields, or other disturbed areas. Much less common in extensive
natural settings such as unbroken forest, shrub/grassland, or desert.
Diet: Wide variety of items, including
insects, earthworms, seeds, fruits, and berries. Seems to prefer insects
when they are available.
Behavior: Primarily forages on the ground, but a
variety of foraging techniques are used. They will also climb through
foliage for fruit, and glean insects from foliage and twigs. European
Starlings also will fly-catch occasionally, observing from a perch and
flying out to capture passing flying insects.
Nesting: May through June
Migration: Some do move south in the fall, while
others remain year-round.
Similar Species: Superficially similar to some
Feeders: Suet, seeds, peanuts,
bread, and many other items.
Birdhouses: Will use bluebird-sized or larger nest
Conservation Status: Common and widespread
Cornell University's "All About Birds - European Starling"
Photo Information: April 11th, 2005 - Brandon,
South Dakota - Terry Sohl
Additional Photos: Click on the image chips or
text links below for additional, higher-resolution European Starling photos.