European Starling
Sturnus vulgaris

Pictures property of Fernbank Science Center   Conditions of Use

play song

The song or call above is in .mp3 format.  You will need an mp3 player in order to listen.  If you do not have an mp3 player you can download one.  Click on the picture below.  It's free and works great!


Field Marks
  • Pointed bill-yellow for most of year, dark in fall
  • Black plumage with green and purple iridescence
  • White spots scattered about head and body-largest in fall
  • Dark wings and tail
  • Pointed wings
  • Short tail


During breeding season, starlings require holes for nesting, as well as open fields for feeding. The usual nesting sites are holes and crevices in trees, buildings, and rooftops. Starlings also plunder other birds' nests and use them as their own. 


European starlings are non-native birds that are displacing native cavity-nesting birds.  They are commonly seen in large flocks in suburban and rural areas.  They are considered a nuisance because they nest in gutters or vents of buildings, sometimes causing damage.