European Starling

This season I’ve been surprised by the continuous visit of the European Starling in my backyard. They’ve been here before but only in counted occasions. Now I can see them almost daily and not only foraging from the ground in grassy areas, pecking on grubs or other bugs but also getting seeds from the feeders… this I’ve never seen before.

E. Starling are well known in all the USA but I’d like to give you a bit of history about these birds in case that you are not familiar with them.

“The European Starling was introduced into North America when the “American Acclimatization Society” for European settlers released some 80-100 birds in Central Park (New York City) in 1890-91. The head of this particular organization, Eugene Scheiffelin, desired to introduce all birds ever mentioned in the works of William Shakespeare.

Note: Since its introduction into North America in 1891, European Starling populations have grown to over 200 million birds and they can now be found coast to coast and in Alaska.”

Their introduction to other Continents was initially a great help for the Agricultural Industry to help rid of a number of pests that was very unfavorable to fruit and vegetables crops. Unfortunately, their prolific reproduction amounted to large flocks that not only would eat the pests but also would eat the crops that farmers tried to save. The E. Starling was deemed  as pest themselves.

Text and photographs © HJ Ruiz – Avian101

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26 thoughts on “European Starling

    • I don’t think so, but you could blame the people responsible for bringing them to America. It’s happened with birds, snakes, spiders, iguanas, snakehead fish etc. it’s a long list of invasive animals and plants too e.g.. kudzu! Taking a toll on the endemic animal population. 😦

      • Oh yes, kudzu – eek!!! Also here in the great lakes region we have the horrid zebra mussels and a couple types of awfully invasive fish. 😦

  1. I would personally like to expunge from history every dunderhead who ever introduced a species into a foreign environment: almost every one has decimated the locals !

    • I was expecting something like that coming from you, but your are on the right side of the truth! The so called experts want to experiment with other people’s lives as always! 🙂

    • I was asked the same question by my friend Susan Poozan earlier, my answer was this: “The coloration of their plumage as well as for their bills, they change when they are juveniles, adults breeding and non-breeding plus the reflection of the sky or sun. You can see them black, gray, blue, green, brownish. Their bill are black non-breeding and yellowish when breeding. Soon I’ll post some pictures of E. Starling showing a difference”. 🙂

    • I understand exactly what you mean, it’s the way I think of Grackles and Red-winged Blackbirds etc. a lot of people that I know don’t like them much, I see them beautiful! Go figure! 🙂

  2. They are such beautiful colours, though am sorry to say they are not appreciated in Australia.
    I don’t remember them being quite so colourful. 🙂

    • Birds vary in coloration according to their habitat’s food, grains, berries, fruits. That has a lot to do with their plumage color too. Plus many other factors. I’m aware of the problem with these birds super population and destructive feeding frenzies. Thanks for sharing Barbara! 🙂

  3. Starlings have sort of returned to my yard too after avoiding it for several summers. I suspect they are affected by climate change too, wherever they came from. Let us not forget Mozart had a pet starling and they are very intelligent mimics. 🙂

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