Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)

Common Starling

Common Starling

The Common or European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) is a medium-sized bird native to Europe, northern Africa, and western Asia. In addition, the species has been introduced to Australia, New Zealand, southern Africa, northern America, and parts of southern America. The birds are omnivorous, feeding on insects, worms, and other invertebrates as well as seeds and fruits. Occasionally, very large flocks of several thousand individuals gather and can become a considerable nuisance in towns due to their noise and droppings. Similarly, they can cause substantial damages in fruit plantations. The flocks fly in dense clouds commonly changing shape against the sky, a behaviour believed to protect individuals against birds of prey. In Europe, the Common Starling is one of the most abundant birds and recently I have photographed these pretty birds with their iridescent, glossy black plumage at several places in northern Germany (April and May 2015).

drinking starling

drinking starling

about to take a bath

about to take a bath

Common Starling

Common Starling

Common Starling

Common Starling

cooling-off

cooling-off

cooling-off

cooling-off

headfirst

headfirst

a tiny flock of starlings

a tiny flock of starlings

drying off...

drying off…

22 responses to “Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)

  1. We used to see them all the time in our garden – was fabulous watching them strut around. Always so characterful. Sadly they are a rare sight in our garden now.

      • You are so lucky…..we’re not sure but there has been a gradual decline in bird life around here. Think ours is one of the few gardens in our road that has wild areas.

      • hmm… of course if it is somewhere in the city centre with lots of neatly trimmed gardens (“English Lawn”) etc – that sounds like a desert for wildlife… let’s hope it’s not a general trend affecting also the countryside!!

  2. Beautiful pictures Matthias :-)! You captured their iridescence!

    When I click on one of your photographs, it links to the file url and I see the full size photograph. I used to be able to do that with my images but now the file url displays a small version of the image. I have no idea what happened. Did you have this problem and fix it or have your image file urls always displayed properly?

    • Hey Myriam – thank you for your comment!! πŸ™‚
      I just checked out your blog post with the juvenile Cedar Waxwing and if I click on the photograph it also opens a larger version of it?! I also never encountered the problem you have described before… maybe you can try it with a different browser?

      • Thanks for looking into my issue and letting me know the large version of the Cedar Waxwing showed up for you. I’m using Chrome. For some reason, Chrome set the image magnification for my wordpress media file urls to 33%. So images showed up as full size on everyone else’s website but not mine. After clearing my cache and browsing history and trying Firefox, I noticed a little magnifying glass near the “favorites star” on my Chrome url bar whenever I opened one of my image file urls. I changed the magnifying glass setting and now my images open in full size for me.

      • perfect – I hope this problem occurred only on your browser and not for all chrome users!! such tiny problems can be quite a pain in the… well, have a great day anyhow! πŸ™‚

  3. Your photos here do such a great job of capturing the iridescent beauty of the starling, Matthias. The bird bath is a fun series, brought a smile to my face. And I’m glad you mentioned the big flocks, because that is such an amazing and beautiful sight. Slightly over a hundred years ago large flocks of passenger pigeons were not liked either, and now they’re gone forever…so when I see a big cloud of starlings I am filled with gratitude. Great post. πŸ™‚

  4. We had thousands of them around the house last week. It’s freaky how they can all disappear into the foliage of a tree but continue to make a racket, and then all emerge almost at the same time. The starlings we get have light grey / light brownish heads but with common starling bodies.

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