Starling, Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)

Order: Passeriformes
Family: Sturnidae
Genus: Sturnus
Species: vulgaris


This bird has been reportedly found in the following regions:

Vincent, Alabama
Mesa, Arizona
Barling, Arkansas
Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas
Acampo, California
Menifee, California
Turlock, California
Big Pine Key, Florida
Daytona Beach, Florida
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida
Melbourne, Florida
Douglasville, Georgia
Marietta, Georgia
Montpelier, Idaho
Arlington Heights, Illinois
Cherry Valley, Illinois
Grayslake, Illinois
Madison, Illinois
Roanoke, Illinois
Skokie, Illinois
Westchester, Illinois
Coatesville, Indiana
Davenport, Iowa
Hebron, Kentucky
Melbourne, Kentucky
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Jeanerette, Louisiana
Dixfield, Maine
Frederick, Maryland
Oakland, Maryland
Halifax, Massachusetts
Dearborn Heights, Michigan
Paw Paw, Michigan
Saint Clair Shores, Michigan
Albertville, Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Golden, Mississippi
Belton, Missouri
Cole Camp, Missouri
Conway, Missouri
Saint Louis, Missouri
Sedalia, Missouri
Fort Benton, Montana
Beachwood, New Jersey
Marlton, New Jersey
North Arlington, New Jersey
Toms River, New Jersey
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Himrod, New York
La Fayette, New York
Sunnyside, New York
Yonkers, New York
Asheville, North Carolina
Winston Salem, North Carolina
Dayton, Ohio
Geneva, Ohio
Lebanon, Ohio
North Ridgeville, Ohio
Sidney, Ohio
Cheshire, Oregon
Gold Hill, Oregon
Hillsboro, Oregon
Mill City, Oregon
Portland, Oregon
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Elizabethton, Tennessee (2 reports)
Smyrna, Tennessee
Summertown, Tennessee
Austin, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas
Katy, Texas
Mc Kinney, Texas
New Braunfels, Texas
Rice, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Saint George, Utah
Essex Junction, Vermont
Ashburn, Virginia
Keswick, Virginia
Onancock, Virginia
Walkerton, Virginia
Bellingham, Washington
Lakewood, Washington
Shelton, Washington
Stanwood, Washington
Touchet, Washington
Chilton, Wisconsin
Show all

Members' Notes:


On Sep 13, 2016, DMersh from Perth,
United Kingdom (Zone 7b) wrote:

Extremely aggressive birds, constantly fighting over food. Noisy and not a very nice birdsong either, sometimes masses in huge groups, rarely seen alone. Juveniles look quite different, being a plain light brown, darkening as they mature to the familiar dark speckled appearance.


On Feb 23, 2016, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

The World Conservation Union has included this species in their list of 100 of the world's worst invasive species, one of only 3 bird species so singled out. [[email protected]]

Here they assemble in huge noisy flocks and spatter everything below with their excrement.

They are cavity nesters and easily outcompete our native songbirds for nesting sites. This competition is thought to be one of the significant factors in the rapid recent decline in our songbird populations.


On Feb 13, 2015, chasenfratz from Saint Louis, MO (Zone 6b) wrote:

I have two rescued starlings as pets, one fell into my garden from my neighbor's dryer vent. I raised it after learning that the wild bird rehab place would probably euthanize it. I adopted the second one two years later. I've done a lot of reading on these birds as well as observing my indoor starlings and the outdoor ones. I think they are amazing birds. They are really easy to train and can learn lots of words. Mine are both very friendly, one likes to be petted. In the wild they eat lots of pests like Japanese Beetles and lawn grubs. They are well-designed for getting food out of lawns. I think part of the reason there are so many in North America is that we built them a perfect habitat over here. I don't like to blame and persecute the birds for that. I understand the concern for nati... read more


On Oct 30, 2014, Chillybean from (Zone 5a) wrote:

We can thank Eugene Schieffelin for this bird being in North America. You have to admit, this bird is resilient, but doesn't make it any more welcome.

While feeding, they seem to get along with others in our experience. But we do not allow large numbers to stay and this makes them tolerable at the feeders. Their habit of watching woodpeckers excavate cavities, then take them over does not sit well with those who appreciate native species. Without going into detail, we do not allow them to nest, thus aiding a handful of woodpecker families every year.

We find it interesting their fear of the American Kestrel, so we do not often see them when the little falcons are here. Also, cavity-nesting Swallows will mob the European Starlings, thus causing them to ... read more


On Oct 26, 2014, oregon_guy from Portland, OR wrote:

I adore starlings. They are extremely fun to watch, and have amazing antics. Beautiful coloring, intelligent, and extremely useful for insect control, they also are incredible to view in their large flocks. Their song is rather extraordinary as well, and it sounds really nice. They get along really well with other birds too, and I've even seen them help out other birds in trouble. Gotta love 'em!


On Apr 30, 2014, reddirty from Saint George, UT wrote:

Starlings are not native to North America and are an invasive species. Until native predator species learn that they can hunt and eat this pest then we need to be proactive and lower the Starling's numbers. Messy, disruptive to other birds, destructive to natural environment habitat.


On Dec 19, 2012, bonehead from Cedarhome, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Positive: They are a beautiful bird, with such varied song. I love to watch the entire flock twist and dip together.

Negative: They have been misplaced here and are a threat to our native birds. They are also a nuisance in the barn, ripping apart insulation and making a big fat mess.

Bottom line: I wish they would just go back to Europe.


On Sep 2, 2012, absinthe27 from Albertville, MN (Zone 4b) wrote:

I love watching the huge flocks twist about in the sky. So beautiful.


On Jul 9, 2012, FBSPANKEY2 from Fort Benton, MT wrote:

I LOVE BIRDS............. but this is the worst bird ever.


On May 18, 2012, uviolet from St Clair Shores, MI (Zone 6a) wrote:

Normally, I don't actively hate even invasive birds, but I do in this case.

This year, at least one learned how to lift up a slat of our louvered dryer vent and get into the vent itself. It apparently then discovered if it lifted up on one side, the slat would pop off. After a week of putting the slats back in several times a day (with the materials it was bringing in to build a nest with being removed as well), it decided to just start pecking (or biting, not sure which) the slats in the center so they would eventually break and not be able to be put back on. So we replaced the vent cover with one that has a type of basket covering the louvered slats to prevent it from happening again.

It apparently didn't like that it was prevented from it's preferred nest... read more


On Jul 27, 2011, friedaroy from New Braunfels, TX wrote:

I have a few in my backyard, I have had no issues with the birds so far. I have two that bathe in my bird bath every morning, like clockwork. They are interesting watch and I have not noticed any aggressive behavior toward any of the other birds in my yard, as a matter of fact my black chinned hummingbirds seem to be the most aggressive backyard visitor that I have.


On Jun 12, 2010, SaberLily from Winchester, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:

These little guys are a surprisingly big help when it comes to insect control. They consume many pests like nobody's business.

I haven't found them to be any more aggressive than the mockingbirds that are also found in our area. (Who are also a big help at insect control even if they are extremely territorial)


On May 14, 2010, gnash from Asheville, NC wrote:

Love Starlings! And Cornell University has the best birding website: for info, nesting, citizen scientist work, annual competitions. Check it out - it's all free.


On May 12, 2010, PinetopPlanter from Auburn Four Corners, PA (Zone 5a) wrote:

Yes, I know they are invasive, and rob native birds of habitat and food, but here in NYC, I've had a chance to observe them, holding their own against the pigeon population. Once in awhile one will sing on my fire-eascape -- it's a glorious song, varied, tuneful, and very conversational-sounding. They have a beautiful metallic sheen to their feathers, seen when the sun hits them just right.


On Apr 29, 2010, femluc from Elizabethton, TN (Zone 6b) wrote:

These birds are everywhere in my area. The biggest problem that I have with them is the fact that they eat every morsel of my dog's food, and will even flock over his food bowl with him standing there. And after the main course, they have to take a bath in his water bowl, which is just nasty in and of itself. Of course, they don't know what kind of dog he is, and they don't know that he is big, but I don't think it would make any difference to them at all. THEY ARE A NUISANCE!


On May 14, 2009, librarygarden from Arlington Heights, IL wrote:

The are such a nuisance in my area. They bully the smaller birds away from the feeders and seed plants, and form big flocks of squawking West Nile Virus. We have to reinforce the openings of our birdhouses with steel because the starlings will tear them apart in order to get in.


On Apr 20, 2009, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

As stated, they form flocks - they are very social birds, never found alone - they even kind of nest together but will pairs off alone - they prefer birdhouses or holes a certain distance above the ground and a specific size. Birds of prey loves them as their flocks are very noticeable and they don't attack birds of prey - just flee from them. In winter here in Minnesota, they are very uncommon, some flies south, other stay in very localized area - often those with thin snow covers. They can't seem to adapt to deep snow (about 3-4 inches or more) and relocate to other areas until the snow cover thins or thaws out then they move back in almost instantly. They are very traditional, always returning to the same area to roost or feed. In summer they are very abaduant, prefering wide open parkl... read more


On Mar 16, 2009, creekwalker from Benton County, MO (Zone 5a) wrote:

Very much a nuisance bird here. They form huge flocks in towns and cause all kinds of problems.


On Feb 27, 2009, salandry54 from Jeanerette, LA wrote:

HORRIBLE birds!!! They are invasive and kill Purple Martins! I am trying to eradicate them from my yard! It's no wonder they are named "vulgaris"! UGH!


On Dec 26, 2008, Resin from Northumberland,
United Kingdom (Zone 9a) wrote:

Positive for Europe, where it is a native species in serious decline due to agricultural intensification.