Alternative name: European Starling
Adult changing to summer plumage
[ edit] Identification
21 cm (8Â¼ in)
Wide variation in plumage. Both sexes are similar, although the female is less glossy than the male.
Glossed black with a purple and green shine
Tips of the body feathers have large white spots
With wear, the white spots are lost, while the bill and legs turn yellow.
Adults glossy-black, males without any spots, females with a few
Young birds are dull grey-brown with dark bill
Some of the eastern subspecies are completely spotless, and may show a violet gloss.
[ edit] Similar species
Especially in south west Europe and north Africa, look at
Spotless Starling which has a different structure in the feathers especially at the throat.
[ edit] Distribution
This starling is native to most of Eurasia, but in most of the Iberian Peninsula and north Africa only as winter guest. It has additionally been introduced to South Africa, North America, Australia and New Zealand.
Common or abundant in most of its range
â€¢ S. vulgaris; original range, year-round
â€¢ S. vulgaris; original range, summer only
â€¢ S. vulgaris; original range, winter only
â€¢ S. vulgaris; introduced, year-round
â€¢ S. vulgaris; introduced, summer only
Juvenile changing into first winter plumage
, July 2010
[ edit] Taxonomy
[ edit] Subspecies
This is a
polytypic species, consisting of twelve subspecies :
S. v. granti: Azores
S. v. vulgaris: Canary Islands and Iceland to Ural Mountains, northern Ukraine and south-eastern Europe
S. v. faroensis: Faeroes
S. v. zetlandicus: Shetland Islands
S. v. tauricus: Eastern and southern Ukraine, Crimea and Asia Minor
S. v. purpurascens: Western Transcaucasia to Georgia and Armenia
S. v. caucasicus: Volga Delta and northern Caucasus to Caspian Sea and southern Iran
S. v. nobilior: Afghanistan, Transcaspia and Khorasan
S. v. poltaratskyi: Eastern Ural Mountains to Lake Baikal, Kazakstan and western Mongolia
S. v. porphyronotus: Southern Dzungaria and Tien Shan Mountains to Pamir Mountains and Samarkand
S. v. humii: Western Himalayas (Kashmir to Garhwal)
S. v. minor: Locally in western Pakistan (Sind)
[ edit] Habitat
Varied. Can be found in any reasonably open environment from farmland to salt marsh.
[ edit] Behaviour
Very gregarious out of the breeding season.
[ edit] Movement
Starlings walk rather than hop. Their flight is quite strong and direct; they look triangular-winged and short-tailed in flight.
[ edit] Breeding
Nests in thatches, nest boxes, tree holes. An untidy feather-lined nest is constructed from straw, grass or twigs. The clutch consists of 4-5 pale blue, glossy eggs with. They are incubated for around 2 weeks and flegde about 19-22 days later. There may be 2 broods in the season, which usually runs from April to July.
They mainly feed on insect larvae but are opportunist feeders and will visit bird tables. They also like autum berries.
[ edit] Vocalisation
Listen in an external program
[ edit] Gallery
Click images to see larger version
[ edit] References
Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2016. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2016, with updates to August 2016. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
[ edit] External Links
For videos of Starling Roosts