|Conservation status||Undoubtedly has had a negative impact on some native hole-nesting birds, such as bluebirds and Red-headed Woodpeckers, competing with them for nesting sites.|
|Family||Starlings and Mynas|
|Habitat||Cities, parks, farms, open groves, fields. Most numerous in farm country and in suburbs and cities, but inhabits almost any kind of disturbed habitat. Usually scarce or absent in extensive wild areas of forest, scrub, or desert, but will breed around buildings or settlements in the midst of such habitats.|
Forages mostly on the ground in open areas, often probing in soil with bill. Sometimes feeds on fruit up in trees, and sometimes catches flying insects in the air. Usually forages in flocks.
4-6, rarely 7. Greenish white to bluish white, unmarked. Incubation is by both parents (female does more), about 12 days. Starlings sometimes lay eggs in each other's nests. Young: Both parents feed nestlings. Young leave nest about 21 days after hatching. 2 broods per year.
Both parents feed nestlings. Young leave nest about 21 days after hatching. 2 broods per year.
Mostly insects, berries, and seeds. Diet is quite varied. Eats mostly insects when available, especially beetles, grasshoppers, flies, and caterpillars, also spiders, snails, earthworms, and other invertebrates. Especially in fall and winter, eats a wide variety of berries, fruits, and seeds. Sometimes visits flowers for nectar. Will come to bird feeders for a variety of items.
Male establishes territory and chooses nest site, singing to attract a mate. When a female arrives, male perches next to nest site and sings, often waving his wings. Male sometimes has more than one mate. Nest site is in any kind of cavity; usually in natural hollow or woodpecker hole in tree, in birdhouse, or (in southwest) in hole in giant cactus. Sometimes in holes or crevices in buildings or other odd spots. Nest construction begun by male, often completed by female (who may throw out some of male's nest material). Nest is a loose mass of twigs, weeds, grass, leaves, trash, feathers, with slight depression for eggs.
Illustration © David Allen Sibley.
Learn more about these drawings.
Text © Kenn Kaufman, adapted from
Lives of North American Birds
Download Our Bird Guide App
Southern birds may be permanent residents, while many (but not all) northern birds move south in fall. Migrates mostly by day.
- All Seasons - Common
- All Seasons - Uncommon
- Breeding - Common
- Breeding - Uncommon
- Winter - Common
- Winter - Uncommon
- Migration - Common
- Migration - Uncommon
See a fully interactive migration map for over 450 bird species on the Bird Migration Explorer.Learn more
Songs and CallsA series of discordant, musical, squeaky, and rasping notes; often imitates other birds. Call a descending whee-ee.
Learn more about this sound collection.
How Climate Change Will Reshape the Range of the European Starling
Audubon’s scientists have used 140 million bird observations and sophisticated climate models to project how climate change will affect this bird’s range in the future.
Zoom in to see how this species’s current range will shift, expand, and contract under increased global temperatures.
Climate threats facing the European Starling
Choose a temperature scenario below to see which threats will affect this species as warming increases. The same climate change-driven threats that put birds at risk will affect other wildlife and people, too.