Sturnus vulgaris - Starling

Sturnus vulgaris - Starling

This beautiful bird used to be one of the most common birds I would see in my youth. With flocks of several hundreds in the autumn flying over the house swooping and making superb patterns in the sky as they headed towards their autumn roost in the reeds and trees around Fleet Pond. Today unfortunately I only see them in ones or twos at the seed and fat filled coconut that I hang up for them.

The Starling, in summer is a beautiful metalic green, purple and blue which changes colour depending upon the angle of light falling on it. A medium sized bird with a wingspan of approximately 32-40cm with a lemon yellow beak which changes colour to brown in the autumn.

There is a resident community of Starling but this is then bulstered by large numbers of migratory birds from the Baltic countries. At times they are a gardeners friend by eating large amounts of wireworm, weevils and other beetles thereby keeping down garden pests but in autumn they can become a bit of a gardeners enemy because they love the ripening fruit of apples, and pears etc..

Starlings will nest in holes under the eaves of houses, in a chimney or in a hole caused by a missing brick as well as barns and other outbuildings. The nest is a scruffy affair often lined with feathers. The female lays a clutch of 5 to 7 eggs in April and often rears a second brood.

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