Starlings and Mynas
Throughout the Year
European Starling Facts
Blame it on Shakespeare. European starlings have taken over the country thanks to a group of 19th-century literary-enthusiasts who introduced the birds to the U.S. in an attempt to bring all the birds mentioned by the Bard to the country. Now considered an invasive species by some authorities, European starlings are aggressive birds that compete with other bird species for nesting spots and foraging grounds.
In summer, mature starlings seem black from a distance but actually have glossy black, dark green, and purple feathers. Bills are yellow when breeding; black when nonbreeding. In winter, feathers are marked with white spots. Juveniles are dull brown from head to tail with black bills.
Omnipresent fixtures in parks and backyards across the country. Found throughout the continental U.S. near human habitations.
European starlings have long, thin beaks, which they push into the ground in search of bugs. Usually traveling in large flocks, starlings can decimate farmers’ crops of fruit or corn in little time. Loud, mimicking birds, starlings like to perch on high places and chatter away.
Insects; seeds, fruit, discarded human food.
The song of the European starling is a bit garbled—a chattery, quiet mix of notes and whistles. The birds employ about 10 different calls depending on the situation, including rather expert imitations of hawks.
Female & Male
European Starlings at BBG