Blackbird or Starling: Which Is Bigger?

Which is bigger: blackbird or starling? This has been a perplexing question for bird lovers for years. Let’s explore these fascinating birds and their size variations. We’ll discover unique details about both kinds and even uncover an intriguing history.

Blackbirds are bigger than starlings. They have dark feathers and yellow eyes. On average, they measure 23-29 centimeters long with a wingspan of 47-51 centimeters. Starlings are smaller. They measure 18-20 centimeters long with a wingspan of 31-44 centimeters.

Size isn’t the only difference between them. Behavior and habitat also set them apart. Blackbirds like woodlands and open fields. They’re known for their melodious songs. Starlings live in urban areas. They’re famous for their synchronized murmurations.

These birds have interesting stories in the past. The blackbird shows up in poetry and Greek myths. Starlings were brought to North America by European settlers in the late 19th century. This was a failed attempt to bring all Shakespearean birds to the New World. It had disastrous effects on the environment.

Background information on blackbirds

Blackbirds are a captivating species of birds that have stirred the interest and curiosity of many. They belong to the family Turdidae and have a dark plumage and unique songs.

  • These birds can be seen across Europe, Asia, North Africa, and Australia.
  • They love habitats with trees and shrubs like woodlands, gardens, and wetlands.
  • Their diet mainly consists of insects, earthworms, berries, fruits, and grains.

There are some interesting facts about them. For example, males have bright yellow eyes, while females have dark brown eyes. Also, they become very territorial during the breeding season and will defend their nests from other blackbirds and intruders.

In some cultures, blackbirds in garden settings are thought to bring good luck and fortune. This superstition is transmitted to another generation as they spot these graceful birds in the plants.

Background information on starlings

The starling: a small bird with a melodic tune. It’s part of the Sturnidae family, found across the world. They flock together in huge numbers, making shapes in the sky.

Their intelligence is remarkable. They can imitate bird songs and even human speech! Plus, their feathers glimmer in the sun.

Once a year, they come together in a murmuration – a synchronized flight of thousands of starlings! It’s a mesmerizing show that has captivated people for centuries.

In the 1890s, a man released 60 European Starlings into New York City’s Central Park. Little did he know, this would create a successful invasive species in North America.

Starlings continue to thrive and adapt here. Some see them as pests, while others admire their beauty.

Size comparison between blackbirds and starlings

Size Comparison Between Blackbirds and Starlings

Blackbirds and starlings, two common birds, differ in size. While both species belong to the same family and have similar appearances, the starling is generally larger than the blackbird.

To highlight this comparison, let’s create a table showcasing the average measurements of both birds:

Bird Average Length (inches) Average Wingspan (inches)
Blackbird 8-10 12-16
Starling 7-9 10-12

As seen in the table, blackbirds are typically longer and have a wider wingspan compared to starlings. However, starlings are slightly shorter, and their wingspan is narrower in comparison.

Apart from their size differences, it’s interesting to note that both species share common traits in terms of plumage and habitat preferences. They are also known for their melodious songs, which contribute to the overall beauty of our natural surroundings.

To make the most out of bird watching or attracting these avian creatures to your garden, consider the following suggestions:

  1. Provide appropriate food and nesting options: Blackbirds and starlings have specific dietary preferences and nesting requirements. Offering a variety of bird food and nesting materials, such as fruits, insects, seeds, and suitable nesting boxes, can attract both species and enhance their overall experience.
  2. Maintain a bird-friendly environment: Creating a clean and safe environment with natural vegetation, water sources, and shelter will encourage these birds to visit and potentially make your space their home. Make sure to avoid using harmful pesticides and chemicals that may harm them or their food sources.

By implementing these suggestions, you can create an inviting habitat for blackbirds and starlings, allowing you to enjoy their presence while contributing to their well-being.

Blackbirds may be small in stature, but their talent for tormenting squirrels in the backyard is supersized.

Physical characteristics of blackbirds

Blackbirds have specific features that make them unique from other birds. Let’s explore their fascinating traits!

They measure around 25 centimeters and have a wingspan of 33-39 centimeters. Their bodies are streamlined, making them agile in the air. The male has a striking black plumage while the female has a subdued dark brown one. They have sharp beaks for catching insects and consuming berries and fruits.

Take a look at the physical characteristics of blackbirds in the table below:

Physical Characteristics Description
Size Around 25 centimeters in length
Wingspan Approximately 33-39 centimeters
Plumage (Males) Striking black coloration
Plumage (Females) Subdued dark brown coloration
Beak Sharp beak for feeding on insects, berries, and fruits

They also have amazing singing abilities! Their calls enchant listeners with melodic tunes that vary between individuals. Birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts love to observe them.

Don’t miss out on the chance to witness these captivating creatures! Explore nature and appreciate the wonders of the avian world.

Physical characteristics of starlings

Starlings have some amazing physical features that make them stand out from other birds. They are around 18 centimeters long and their feathers have an eye-catching array of colors. Plus, the feathers are structured so they create music as the starlings fly!

Below is a table about their physical features:

Physical Feature Description
Body Length Approximately 18cm
Feather Color Iridescent
Feather Structure Sound-producing

Plus, starlings have strong wings that let them do cool tricks while flying. They have sharp beaks for getting food. And, their sight is great so they can find food from far away!

It’s obvious why starlings are essential to our environment. They can survive in many places and this shows us the wonderful power of nature. So, don’t miss out on seeing these incredible creatures. When you watch starlings fly or hear them sing, you will be amazed by their beauty and uniqueness. Don’t forget to take time to appreciate the starlings.

Average size comparison

Comparing the size of blackbirds and starlings, it’s easy to see the difference between them. We’ve created a table to show their sizes.

Species Length Wingspan
Blackbirds 8-10 inches 12-15 inches
Starlings 6-8 inches 10-12 inches

Blackbirds are 8-10 inches long while starlings are smaller, 6-8 inches. Blackbirds have a wingspan of 12-15 inches, while starlings’ wingspan is 10-12 inches.

These birds belong to the same order, Passeriformes, but different families: Turdidae for blackbirds and Sturnidae for starlings. This difference in family could explain why they vary in size.

Thomas Bewick’s “A History of British Birds” from the late 18th century, included illustrations of these birds. His work gave us a better understanding of their physical characteristics.

Habitat and distribution

Habitat and distribution refer to the natural environment and geographical range where blackbirds and starlings can be found.

Species Habitat Distribution
Blackbird Woodlands, gardens, parks Europe, Asia, North Africa
Starling Urban areas, farmlands, grassy fields Europe, Asia, North America

Blackbirds are commonly found in woodlands, gardens, and parks, while starlings prefer urban areas, farmlands, and grassy fields. Both species have a wide distribution range that includes Europe, Asia, and North America.

Interestingly, blackbirds are known for their melodious songs, while starlings are known for their mimicry abilities, able to imitate the songs of other bird species. This unique trait sets them apart from other birds in their respective habitats.

A true fact about blackbirds is that they were introduced to North America in the late 19th century. [Source: Cornell Lab of Ornithology]

Blackbird habitats: from your suburban garden to your untidy shed, these versatile birds are just one step away from declaring squatters’ rights.

Blackbird habitat and distribution

Blackbirds are renowned for their exclusive habitats and distribution patterns. Let’s investigate these marvelous details through a table that displays the many habitats and distributions of blackbirds.

Blackbird Habitat Distribution Range
Forests, woodlands, gardens Europe, Asia, N. Africa, Australia
Grasslands, fields, farmlands N. America, S. America

This table reveals the diverse habitats where blackbirds are located. Primarily living in forests, woodlands, and gardens in Europe, Asia, North Africa, and Australia; these birds also thrive in grasslands, fields, and farmlands across North and South America.

Blackbirds possess more than just habitat and distribution peculiarities. They sing melodic songs that echo through their environs. This ability allows them to communicate with other birds as well as to identify their own territories.

In an interesting twist, a blackbird once displayed remarkable problem-solving skills. It used tiny twigs to remove a piece of bread stuck between branches. This smart behavior showed its resourcefulness as it adapted to cope with difficulties in its setting.

The blackbird’s habitat and distribution portray its versatility and determination while adding delightful tunes to nature’s concerto. These birds continue to mesmerize us with their delightful presence all over the world.

Starling habitat and distribution

Starlings are renowned for their varied habitats and broad distribution. They can be found in both rural and urban settings, acclimating with ease. Their natural homes include forests, woodlands, grasslands, and farmlands.

Plus, starlings have also made themselves at home in urban regions. They can often be spotted in parks, gardens, and city centers. Their capacity to adjust lets them flourish in these human-made surroundings by nesting in buildings and eating food provided by humans. This suppleness has facilitated their global reach.

An interesting detail about starlings is their strong social nature. They form huge flocks with breeding couples and single birds. This collective nature aids them in multiple ways, like finding food and protecting each other from predators.

For the preservation and expansion of starling populations, it is vital to make ideal habitats for them. Native trees and shrubs should be planted to give nesting sites and attract bugs, which are a major part of their diet. Additionally, birdhouses or artificial nest cavities should be provided for nesting in urban areas.

Furthermore, bird-friendly farming methods should be employed to help starlings. This includes maintaining hedgerows and grassy field margins, as well as reducing pesticide use. These actions can ensure the availability of proper foraging sites and minimize potential harm to starlings.

Behavior and diet

Behavior and diet:

Blackbirds and starlings exhibit different behaviors and have distinct dietary preferences.


Blackbird Starling

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Blackbirds are known for their characteristic hopping and ground foraging behaviors, while starlings are more agile and adept at aerial maneuvering. In terms of diet, blackbirds primarily consume insects, worms, and fruits, while starlings have a more varied diet that includes berries, seeds, small mammals, and insects.

Pro Tip:

When observing the behavior and diet of blackbirds and starlings, it can be helpful to note that their preferences may vary based on seasonal availability of food sources. Blackbirds: They’re like the Kardashians of the bird world, always causing a commotion and eating like it’s no one’s business.

Blackbird behavior and diet

Blackbirds are quite the enigma; they have interesting behavior and a varied diet. Adaptive to many environments, such as woodlands, gardens, and cities, they are known for their black plumage and melodious songs. This makes them a favorite among birdwatchers.

These birds are quite social, gathering in flocks. During breeding season, you can spot males perched on trees or rooftops singing sweetly for mates and to mark their territory. They also defend their nests with vigor, chasing away any interlopers.

Blackbirds have a diverse palate. They eat insects such as worms, beetles, and spiders. But, they also enjoy fruits like berries and apples. They even use their sharp beaks to dig into the ground for earthworms!

Surprisingly, they remember specific areas with plenty of food. They revisit these places daily, thanks to their impressive memory.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology states that blackbirds have an important role in maintaining ecological balance. Because of their flexible diet, they can survive in many environmental conditions.

Starling behavior and diet

Starlings are fascinating birds, exhibiting unique behaviors and dietary preferences. Here are five key points to know about them:

  1. They are social creatures, often seen in large flocks moving together. They use a complex system of calls and signals to communicate.
  2. They eat a variety of foods such as insects, fruits, berries, and seeds. They adapt to food sources depending on the season.
  3. Starlings are known for their mimicking skills, including imitating bird songs and man-made sounds.
  4. Male starlings perform acrobatic flights and display iridescent feathers during courtship season.
  5. They build nests inside tree hollows and birdhouses, lining them with grass and feathers.

Furthermore, starlings are highly adaptive to urban environments. To attract them to your backyard, provide a range of foods like suet cakes, mealworms, fruit slices, and birdseed mixes with sunflower seeds.

Similarities between blackbirds and starlings

Blackbirds and starlings – two common birds – have many similarities. Let’s discover them!

Similarities between blackbirds and starlings:


  • Blackbirds: Predominantly black with yellow eyes and dark beaks.
  • Size: 8-10 inches in length.

Starlings: Also mainly black, but with iridescent feathers that can look purple or green.

  • Size: 7-9 inches in length.

Plus, they both have amazing singing abilities. Blackbirds are known for their melodic tunes during mating season. Starlings make a wide array of whistles and imitate sounds.

Did you know? Starlings can do something incredible called “murmuration,” where thousands fly together in a synchronized pattern. It’s an incredible sight! (Source: National Geographic)

Blackbirds and starlings have lots of similarities – a testament to the amazing diversity of birds.

Differences between blackbirds and starlings

Blackbirds and starlings have distinct differences in their appearance, behavior, and habitats. Here is a comparison between these two bird species:

Aspect Blackbird Starling
Size Medium-sized Small-sized
Color Black feathers, with yellow eye-ring and bill Iridescent black plumage
Song Melodious and mellow song Musical and complex song with mimicry abilities
Habitat Woodlands, gardens, and parks Grasslands, agricultural areas, and urban environments

In addition to these differences, blackbirds are known for their territorial behavior, while starlings are highly social birds that form large flocks. This distinction in social behavior affects their nesting habits and group dynamics.

Pro Tip: If you want to attract blackbirds to your garden, provide them with open areas and shrubs for nesting, along with berry-producing plants for food.

Looks can be deceiving, but when it comes to size, the blackbird and starling play a game of ‘Who’s Got the Biggest Feathers’.


Blackbirds and starlings have contrasting looks. Blackbirds are petite, with dark feathers and a graceful outline. On the contrary, starlings are slightly bigger with speckled feathers shimmering in the sunshine.

Here is a comparison of blackbirds and starlings:

Blackbird Starling
Small Slightly larger
Dark feathers Speckled plumage
Sleek profile Shimmering appearance

Blackbirds have an inconspicuous charm. Whereas, starlings charm us with their glittery patterns. This makes them stand out and adds to their beauty.

Surprisingly, the sparkling feathers of the starling appear due to tiny structures which reflect light amazingly. This optical effect brings a magical quality to their looks, making starlings mesmerizing.

A noteworthy thing about blackbirds and starlings is their harmonic songs. According to the Audubon Society, blackbirds are known for their profound and full-bodied cries. While starlings can copy multiple sounds from their surroundings, showing off their variety in both looks and sounds.


Blackbirds and starlings have distinct behaviors. Let’s take a closer look at them!


Check out this table to explore the interesting behaviors of blackbirds and starlings.

Behavior Blackbirds do Starlings
Feeding habits Forage on the ground Form large flocks
Nesting Build nests in trees or shrubs Nest in cavities or buildings
Singing Known for melodious songs Emit a range of complex calls
Mating rituals Engage in spectacular aerial displays Perform synchronized flights

Plus, blackbirds are diurnal and vocalize during the day. Starlings, on the other hand, are opportunistic feeders and can adapt to different habitats.

Are you interested in these birds? Join us to see their captivating behaviors and melodic singing! Don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity! Come explore and discover more about these incredible creatures with us!


Blackbirds have a melodious song that is full of rich tones and melodies. They communicate their presence and mark territories. Starlings, on the other hand, can mimic other bird songs and man-made noises, allowing them to blend in. Plus, both species produce alarm calls when danger lurks. Blackbirds have a low-pitched, harsh sound while starlings make high-pitched chirps.

Additionally, blackbirds can copy other birds too. For a clear distinction between the two, focus on the complexity and range of sounds they make.


Comparing a blackbird and a starling’s size? Not easy.

We looked at body, wingspan, and weight.

The blackbird’s larger body size wins. But, the starling takes the lead for wingspan. It maneuvers gracefully in flight.

Weight-wise, the blackbird is slightly heavier, but not by much.

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs about Blackbird or Starling: Which is Bigger?

1. Q: Which bird, the blackbird or the starling, is bigger in size?

A: The blackbird is generally bigger in size compared to the starling. Blackbirds can measure about 23-29 centimeters (9-11 inches) in length, while starlings are typically around 19-22 centimeters (7-9 inches) long.

2. Q: Is there a significant difference in weight between blackbirds and starlings?

A: Yes, there is a noticeable difference in weight. Blackbirds typically weigh around 80-125 grams (2.8-4.4 ounces), whereas starlings weigh between 60-100 grams (2-3.5 ounces).

3. Q: Are blackbirds and starlings easy to distinguish based on their appearance?

A: Yes, they have distinct physical characteristics. Blackbirds have black feathers and a yellow eye-ring in males, while females have brown feathers. Starlings, on the other hand, have glossy black feathers with iridescent purple and green hues.

4. Q: Do blackbirds and starlings have similar habitats?

A: Yes, both blackbirds and starlings are adaptable birds found in various habitats such as woodlands, gardens, meadows, and urban areas. However, starlings are more likely to form large flocks compared to blackbirds.

5. Q: Are blackbirds and starlings known for their singing abilities?

A: Blackbirds are particularly known for their melodious songs, often heard in the early morning or at dusk. Starlings are also capable of mimicking sounds but are not as renowned for their singing abilities as blackbirds.

6. Q: Are blackbirds and starlings migratory birds?

A: Blackbirds are mostly residents, but some populations may migrate short distances in search of food during harsh weather. Starlings, on the other hand, are highly migratory birds, often forming massive flocks during migration.

Julian Goldie - Owner of

Julian Goldie

I'm a bird enthusiast and creator of Chipper Birds, a blog sharing my experience caring for birds. I've traveled the world bird watching and I'm committed to helping others with bird care. Contact me at [email protected] for assistance.