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Starling by Dawn Monrose

Starling

Sturnus vulgaris

Key Facts

  • Length: 21cm
  • Wingspan: 40cm
  • Weight: 78g
  • Average Lifespan: 5 years

Starlings are very familiar birds of farmland, parks, gardens and towns.

Sociable birds, they spend a lot of their time in large flocks, roosting and performing sweeping, aerial displays – they can often be seen moving fluidly through a winter’s sky. Starlings eat insects and fruit, and will visit birdtables and feeders. Starlings make untidy nests in holes in trees or in buildings, in which the female lays five to seven eggs. Both parents raise the chicks.

How to Identify

Unmistakeable: adult Starlings are a beautiful, oily black colour, with a purple and green sheen. In the winter, they are covered in tiny beige spots. Young Starlings are dark grey-brown.

Where to Find

Widespread.

How People Can Help

Although one of the UK’s most common garden birds, the Starling is declining elsewhere. Here, The Wildlife Trusts are helping to protect Starlings and other birds by working closely with farmers, landowners and developers to promote wildlife-friendly practices. We are working towards a ‘Living Landscape’: a network of habitats and wildlife corridors across town and country, which are good for both wildlife and people. You can support this greener vision for the future by joining your local Wildlife Trust.

Did you know?

The enormous winter flocks of Starlings can number more than a million birds! These flocks are subject to predation by Peregrine Falcons, but the flock can be seen wheeling and diving as one, as individuals try to avoid being caught.

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