Sturnus vulgaris
(European starling)

Order: Passeriformes
Order Description: Passerines
Family: Sturnidae
Family Description: Starlings

Physical Description:
Length 8.5". Adults in breeding plumageClick word for definition are IridescentClick word for definition blue-black, with a yellow bill. In fresh fall plumage they are black with spotted edges on the feathers, giving a speckled appearance, and black bill. Juveniles are brown with faint streaks on their breast. Tail appears short.

Similar species- Western Meadowlark in shape, and Purple Martin in flight.

Makes a chirping and click sound.

Common throughout Idaho with the exception of higher mountainous areas in central Idaho.

Open country, especially associated with human development. Often in huge flocks with blackbirds in the fall and winter around feed lots.

Insects and other invertebrates, as well as Russian olives and other fruits. Probes into ground by spreading soil with bill, and mimics other species while feeding.

Introduced to New York City in 1890 and spread throughout the United States and southern Canada. Bold and aggressive, often taking nesting holes from other species.

Secondary cavity nester. monogamousClick word for definition, but parasitizes (i.e. lays eggs in) other starling nests. Lays 3-5 eggs, incubated by both sexes for 12-16 days. Young remain in the nest for 18-21 days.

Element Code: ABPBT01010
Status: Nongame species
Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S?
National Rank: NE5

Important State References:
No references are available at this time.

Original images provided by Jeff Spendelow,© 2000
Design by Ean Harker©1999, 2000.
Written by Jason Karl, 2000.