European Starling

The European Starling was introduced into Australia in the late 1850’s.  It originated from Europe, where it was once a common bird of the deciduous woodlands, but now favours the more urban areas.  In Australia it has also become a familiar sight around human habitation throughout the east and south-east.  It is also a prominent bird in open cultivated areas, and is a well-known pest of orchards.  Other food includes insects and their larvae and human scraps.  The European Starling shows considerable variation in plumage.  Both adults resemble each other, although the female is considered less glossy than the male.  In autumn, the plumage is glossed black, with a purple and green iridescence.  The feathers have a buff tip, which gives the bird a spotted appearance.  These spots are almost completely absent from birds in spring.  During the breeding season, August to January, the bill and legs are yellow, becoming brown outside of this time.  Young birds are grey-brown, becoming more glossed black with age.

Size: 20 to 22 cm