The Common Starling, otherwise known as Sturnus Vulgaris or European Starling, is a medium sized songbird that is a member of the Sturnidae bird family. These birds are known to mimic sounds from other species and can even mimic human speech when held in captivity. They are very stout in their build and have short tails. They change color depending on the season, such as purple-green feathers in the summer and brown feathers with white spots in the winter.
Common Starlings originated in Europe, specifically Norway, Russia, and Siberia. During the winter, they migrated to northern Africa and India. From there, Starlings have been introduced to several places such as Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania, South Africa, and North America. They are normally found in grasslands, agricultural areas, and urban settings.
There have been a couple attempts to introduce Starlings to North America but both times resulted in failure. However, in 1890, the third attempt permanently established the species in Central Park, New York City by Eugene Schieffelin of the American Acclimatization Society. Wanting to introduce one of the birds mentioned in Shakespeare’s works, he released 60 birds and 40 more the following year. Of the 100 birds that were released, only 15 pairs were able to survive. Millions of Starlings came to exist from those original 15. The first documentation since their expansion was recorded in 1918 on Amelia Island, Florida.
The current range of starlings extends all across North America. Starlings generally stay up north during the summer and migrate down south in the winter. Cities in the northeastern region have an overwhelming number of Starlings.
Starlings are omnivorous birds, eating a wide array foods like seeds, fruits, and small insects. Because they congregate in large flocks, they detrimental to the environment. These birds have been known to forage in the same areas throughout the year. This causes severe damage to plants and agricultural production.
Creating an immense amount of problems, Starlings are known to do more harm than good. These problems, however, are mostly derived from the large numbers they travel in. When a...