European Starling

Sturnus vulgaris




Starlings (Sturnidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Pale blue or green, sometimes marked with brown

Number of Eggs:

4 - 8

Incubation Days:

12 - 14

Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

10 - 60 feet above ground.

Nest Material:

Grass, twigs, forbs, rootlets, and straw.


Northern birds migrate



European Starling: Small, chunky, iridescent purple and green blackbird with long, pointed yellow bill, pink legs, and short tail. Feathers on back and undertail show buff edges. Sexes are similar. Winter adult is black with white spots and dark bill. Juvenile is uniformly dull gray-brown with dark bill. Introduced from Europe.

Range and Habitat

European Starling: Native to Eurasia, but widely introduced and established worldwide. Occurs from southern Alaska across central Canada to Newfoundland, and south throughout the continental U.S. to the Gulf Coast and northern Mexico. Preferred habitats include cities, suburban areas, farmlands, and ranches.

Breeding and Nesting

European Starling: Four to eight pale blue or green eggs, sometimes marked with brown, are laid in a nest made of twigs, grass, forbs, straw, and trash. Nest is lined built in a natural hollow of a tree, bird box, building crevice, or abandoned woodpecker hole. Incubation ranges from 12 to 14 days.

Foraging and Feeding

European Starling: Eats seeds, insects, small vertebrates, centipedes, spiders, earthworms, plants, and fruits; commonly takes food discarded by humans.

Readily Eats

Suet, Millet, Nuts, Sunflower


European Starling: Emits a series of discordant, musical, squeaky, and rasping notes; often imitates other birds. Call is a descending "whee-ee".

Similar Species

European Starling: Blackbirds, cowbirds and grackles have longer tails, slimmer bodies, dark bills, and lack white spots on head and body.

Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X