Starling

Sturnus vulgaris

About

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 it

Widespread.

Habitats

When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

How can people 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.

Species information

Common name
Starling
Latin name
Sturnus vulgaris
Category
Birds
Thrushes, chats, flycatchers, starling, dipper and wren
Statistics
Length: 21cm Wingspan: 40cm Weight: 78g Average Lifespan: 5 years
Conservation status
Classified in the UK as a Red List species under the Birds of Conservation Concern review and as a Priority Species in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan.