Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)
Scientific name: Sturnus vulgaris
Family: Starling (Sturnidae)
Wingspan: 37 - 42cm (15 - 17")
Diet: Mainly insects and fruit
Feed with: suet bird fat balls, seed mixes and peanuts
Habitat: Starlings are very abundant around the UK and can be found mainly in gardens, city centres, reed beds and plantations.
Lifespan: 5 Years
STARLINGS ARE highly recognisable and can be spotted in many gardens across the UK. They are noisy, sociable and slightly smaller than a blackbird, although they feature a beautiful glossy sheen when seen in the correct angle of light.
You'll notice glimmers of purple and green as they walk about, or, to be more precise, boldly strut onward with what appears to be a clear purpose. Starlings have characteristic triangular wings, which, while in flight, help the birds the fly fast and direct. They commonly fly together in large flocks.
STARLINGS HAVE A WIDE AND VARIED DIET and feed on just about anything, including kitchen scraps, insects, worms, fat balls and suet. Their bills, being strong and powerful, have the ability to probe the ground for food.
IN THE GARDEN, you it's possible to feed Starling on most foods available online, whether it's from a hanging feeder or bird table. In particular, they enjoy suet pellets and suet fat balls.
STARLING ARE EXCELLENT AT MIMICRY, and it's quite difficult to determine whether or not it is a starling's song, especially when they are attempting to mimic the ring of a phone. Listen to the starling here.
Starling Breeding & Nesting
STARLINGS BEGIN TO BREED IN MID-APRIL and produce eggs that are smooth, shiny and pale blue. Both males and females incubate the eggs, a period which lasts for between 12 - 15 days. Both males and females contribute to the building of the nest, with the male sourcing the location, such as a hole in a wall or tree, and the female lining the nest. Starling will readily use a nesting box with an opening of around 45 - 47mm.
STARLING EGGS are a pale, light blue colour, as in the following image.