The common starling is a medium-sized passerine bird in the starling family, Sturnidae. It has glossy black plumage with a metallic sheen, which is speckled with white at some times of year. The species has declined in numbers in parts of northern and western Europe since the 1980s. Despite this, its huge global population is not thought to be declining significantly.
About Common starling in brief
The common starling is a medium-sized passerine bird in the starling family, Sturnidae. It has glossy black plumage with a metallic sheen, which is speckled with white at some times of year. The legs are pink and the bill is black in winter and yellow in summer; young birds have browner plumage than the adults. It is a noisy bird, especially in communal roosts and other gregarious situations, with an unmusical but varied song. Its gift for mimicry has been noted in literature including the Mabinogion and the works of Pliny the Elder and William Shakespeare. The species has declined in numbers in parts of northern and western Europe since the 1980s due to fewer grassland invertebrates being available as food for growing chicks. Despite this, its huge global population is not thought to be declining significantly, so the commonstarling is classified as being of Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. There is more genetic variation between common starlings and the spotless starling than between the common and the vulgaris. There are several subspecies of the commonStarling, which vary clinally in size and the tone of the adult plumage. The International Ornithological Congress’ preferred English vernacular name is common Starling. The bird is resident in western and southern Europe and southwestern Asia, while northeastern populations migrate south and west in the winter within the breeding range.
It builds an untidy nest in a natural or artificial cavity in which four or five glossy, pale blue eggs are laid. These take two weeks to hatch and the young remain in the nest for another three weeks. This species is omnivorous, taking a wide range of inverTEbrates, as well as seeds and fruit, and is host to a range of external and internal parasites. Large flocks typical of this species can be beneficial to agriculture by controlling invertebrate pests; however, starlings can also be pests themselves when they feed on fruit and sprouting crops. Although starling populations are Middle Pleistocene, part of the problem is paucity of the fossil record for the whole family as a whole. The starlingFamily is an entirely Old World group apart from introductions elsewhere, with the greatest numbers of species in Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. The genus Sturnus is polyphyletic and relationships between its members are not fully resolved. The non-migratory spotlessstarling may be descended from a population of ancestral S. vulgaris that survived in an Iberian refugium during an Ice Age retreat, and mitochondrial gene studies suggest that it could be considered a subspecies of thecommon starling. It may also be a sub species of S. vphyron porphyron vphyroensis in Germany and S. vphyro vphyros in the Isle of Kilda, the Faroe Islands and Fair Isle.