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European Starling

A European Starling walking over the ground amongst some fallen flowers and low shrubs
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Scientific Name: Sturnus vulgaris 

Size: 20 to 22 cm

What does it look like?

The European Starling shows considerable variation in plumage.  Both adults resemble each other, although the female is considered less glossy than the male.  In autumn, the plumage is glossed black, with a purple and green iridescence.  The feathers have a buff tip, which gives the bird a spotted appearance.  These spots are almost completely absent from birds in spring.  During the breeding season, August to January, the bill and legs are yellow, becoming brown outside of this time.  Young birds are grey-brown, becoming more glossed black with age. 

Where is it found?

In Australia it is found throughout the east and south-east. 

What are its habitats & habits?

It was once a common bird of the deciduous woodlands, particularly in its native range, but now favours the more urban areas, and has also become a familiar sight around human habitation. It is also a prominent bird in open cultivated areas, and is a well-known pest of orchards.  Other food includes insects and their larvae and human scraps. 

Interesting facts

The European Starling was introduced into Australia in the late 1850’s. It originated from Europe. 

Need a guest speaker for Peter Rowland Photographer and Writer
Front cover of Australia's Birdwatching Megaspots book showing a picture of an Eastern Spinebill

This species features in my book Australia’s Birdwatching Megaspots

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