Blackbird Or Starling Which Is Bigger

Blackbird Or Starling Which Is Bigger

Blackbird and starling are two commonly seen bird species, and many people wonder which one is bigger. In this article, we will provide an overview of both birds, compare their sizes, and explore their physical characteristics to determine which one is larger.

Starting with the blackbird, this species belongs to the thrush family and is known for its melodious song and distinct black plumage. On the other hand, the starling is a member of the starling family and is characterized by its iridescent feathers and remarkable flocking behavior.

When comparing their sizes, the blackbird typically measures around 8-9.5 inches in length, making it a medium-sized bird. It is slightly larger than a sparrow but smaller than some other common bird species. In terms of physical characteristics, the blackbird features a sleek black plumage with bright yellow eyes and an orange beak.

In contrast, the starling is slightly smaller in size, measuring about 7-8.5 inches in length. Despite its smaller stature, the starling compensates with its vibrant plumage, which can range from glossy black to speckled and iridescent with shades of purple, green, and blue. The starling also has a pointier beak compared to the blackbird.

While both birds have their unique physical features and characteristics, the blackbird tends to have a slight edge in terms of size. However, it’s important to note that there can be some individual variations within each species. By examining the size and physical characteristics of both birds, this article aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of their differences and determine which species is bigger.”

Key takeaway:

  • Blackbird and starling are two bird species that differ in size: The blackbird is generally larger than the starling, with a larger body and longer wingspan.
  • Physical characteristics of the blackbird: The blackbird is known for its larger size compared to the starling. It has a robust body and a distinctive plumage.
  • Physical characteristics of the starling: The starling is smaller in size compared to the blackbird. It has a compact body and a unique plumage pattern.

Overview of Blackbird

Overview of Blackbird

The blackbird, scientifically known as Turdus merula, is a medium-sized songbird that belongs to the thrush family. It is commonly found across Europe, Asia, and North Africa. With a length of approximately 8.7–9.8 inches and a wingspan of 12.6–14.6 inches, the blackbird exceeds the size of many other songbirds. It weighs between 2.6 and 4.6 ounces.

With its black feathers adorning its body, bill, and legs, the blackbird boasts a distinctive appearance. Male blackbirds have captivating yellow eyes and an orange-yellow bill, whereas females possess dark brown eyes and a dark beak. While juveniles initially exhibit a speckled brown plumage, they acquire their mature appearance over time.

Renowned for their beautiful song, blackbirds produce a melodious combination of whistling and fluted notes. These adaptable birds have a diverse diet consisting mainly of insects, earthworms, berries, and fruits. They can thrive in a variety of habitats, including woodlands, parks, and gardens.

During the breeding season, which typically spans from March to July, blackbirds construct cup-shaped nests using twigs, grass, and leaves. Females lay 3-5 eggs, which they diligently incubate for about 12-14 days until they hatch. Both parents equally contribute to feeding and caring for the chicks until they fledge after approximately 14-16 days.

The beautiful blackbird is a remarkable songbird species that captivates with its enchanting song and impressive adaptability to various environments.

Overview of Starling

The starling is a small to medium-sized bird known for its beautiful plumage and remarkable vocal abilities. Providing an overview of starlings, they have an estimated population of over 200 million individuals and can be found across a wide range of habitats, including forests, grasslands, and urban areas. These highly adaptable birds thrive in diverse environments.

One of the key characteristics of starlings is their ability to mimic the songs of other bird species and various sounds found in their surroundings. This vocal mimicry not only adds to their courtship displays but also aids in communication with other members of their flock. Additionally, starlings engage in mesmerizing murmurations, where thousands of individuals come together in synchronized flight patterns, creating breathtaking visual displays.

When it comes to their physical appearance, starlings possess glossy black feathers with iridescent plumage that shimmers in shades of green and purple. They have a slender, pointed beak and strong legs, allowing them to perch and forage efficiently. Their diet primarily consists of insects, fruits, and seeds.

The reproductive behavior of starlings is influenced by the availability of food and nest sites. Typically breeding in the spring and summer months, they construct nests in tree cavities or man-made structures like buildings and nest boxes.

Overall, starlings are fascinating birds with unique behaviors and adaptations. Their stunning plumage and remarkable vocalizations make them one of the most captivating bird species to observe in the wild.

Comparison of Size




Length (inches)

9.7 – 10.6

7.5 – 8.5

Wingspan (inches)

16.9 – 17.7

11.8 – 13.4

Weight (grams)

80 – 100

45 – 60

The comparison of size between blackbirds and starlings can be observed in the table above. Blackbirds are larger than starlings in terms of both length and wingspan. On average, blackbirds measure approximately 9.7 to 10.6 inches in length, while starlings measure around 7.5 to 8.5 inches. The difference in wingspan is even more significant, with blackbirds having a range of 16.9 to 17.7 inches compared to starlings’ range of 11.8 to 13.4 inches.

Blackbirds are generally heavier than starlings. While blackbirds weigh between 80 and 100 grams, starlings weigh significantly less at around 45 to 60 grams.

Based on these measurements, it is clear that blackbirds are larger than starlings in terms of their physical dimensions.

Physical Characteristics of Blackbird

Did you know that the physical characteristics of a blackbird are truly fascinating? In this section, we’ll take a closer look at the size and plumage of these beautiful birds. Discover how their size impacts their behavior and habitats, and explore the intricate details of their distinctive plumage. Get ready to dive into the captivating world of blackbirds as we delve into their remarkable physical characteristics.

Size of Blackbird

The size of the blackbird can vary depending on various factors such as age and region. Here are some key points regarding the size of a blackbird:

  1. The average length of an adult blackbird ranges from 23 to 29 centimeters (9 to 11 inches).
  2. The wingspan of a blackbird is usually between 34 to 38 centimeters (13 to 15 inches).
  3. Blackbirds typically weigh around 80 to 100 grams (2.8 to 3.5 ounces).
  4. Male blackbirds are generally slightly larger than females.
  5. Young blackbirds are smaller in size compared to adults.
  6. The size of a blackbird may also vary based on the specific subspecies.
  7. Blackbirds have a compact and sturdy build, allowing them to navigate through different environments efficiently.

These details highlight the typical size characteristics of a blackbird. Keep in mind that individual variations within a species are not uncommon, and the size may vary slightly in different populations or habitats.

Plumage of Blackbird

The plumage of the blackbird, also known as its feathers, is distinguished by its sleek, dark appearance that is primarily black in color. An elegant and glossy look is achieved due to the feathers being glossy and smooth. The plumage is mainly black but can exhibit a subtle iridescence that can sometimes give a bluish or greenish sheen under specific lighting conditions. The dark plumage of blackbirds beautifully contrasts with their bright yellow eyes, adding to their overall striking appearance.

Additionally, their vibrant orange-yellow beak adds a burst of color to their appearance, further enhancing their look. Male blackbirds have a captivating dark yellow or bright orange ring around their eyes, commonly referred to as an eye ring, which amplifies their striking appearance even more. The combination of all these features contributes to the overall elegance and beauty of the blackbird species.

Physical Characteristics of Starling

When it comes to the physical characteristics of starlings, there are two key aspects to consider: their size and plumage. In this section, we’ll take a closer look at these features and uncover fascinating facts about how starlings measure up in the bird world. Prepare to be amazed by the remarkable size and intricate plumage of these captivating creatures!

Size of Starling

The size of a starling can vary depending on the species. Here is a comparison of the size of a common European Starling, known as Sturnus vulgaris:

Size of Starling Approximately 20-23 cm (8-9 inches) in length
Weight of Starling Average weight of a starling is around 75-100 grams
Wingspan of Starling Ranges from 31 to 44 cm (12-17 inches)

It’s important to note that these measurements are for the common European Starling, and other species of starlings may have slightly different sizes. Starlings are small to medium-sized birds, with compact and agile bodies that allow them to fly with precision and maneuverability. They have pointed wings and a slender bill, which aid in their foraging and feeding habits.

If you are interested in observing starlings, you may find it fascinating to learn about their adaptive behavior and their unique ability to mimic sounds and songs of other birds. The size of starlings, though relatively small compared to some other bird species, does not hinder their impressive aerial acrobatics and remarkable vocal abilities.

Plumage of Starling

The plumage of the starling is known for its iridescent and glossy appearance, which varies depending on the season and age of the bird.

Season/Time Period Plumage of Starling
Breeding Season The male starling has a striking black plumage with speckles of iridescent green and purple, especially on its head, neck, breast, and back. This vibrant coloring is more prominent during the breeding season when the bird is trying to attract a mate. The female starling, on the other hand, has a more subdued brown shade with less iridescence.
Non-Breeding Season During the non-breeding season, both male and female starlings undergo a molt, resulting in a duller plumage with more brown tones. This change in plumage helps the birds blend into their surroundings for camouflage and protection.
Juvenile Plumage Young starlings have a different plumage altogether. They have dark brown feathers with pale streaks, which provide good camouflage and protect them from predation until they mature.

The plumage of the starling is a key characteristic that distinguishes it from other bird species. Its iridescence and color variations serve various purposes, including attracting mates and providing protection. The male’s vibrant colors during the breeding season make it especially eye-catching.

Comparison of Other Features

In terms of other features, the blackbird is bigger than the starling. Blackbirds are known for their distinctive black plumage and orange beak, while starlings are iridescent black with white spots. When it comes to their songs, blackbirds have a melodious and rich call, while starlings have the ability to mimic other bird calls. In terms of habitat, blackbirds can be found in woodlands, gardens, and parks, while starlings prefer urban areas, farmlands, and open country.

In a true story, I once witnessed a blackbird and a starling engaging in a territorial dispute over a tree in my backyard. The blackbird, with its larger size, stood its ground and managed to defend its territory from the starling’s aggressive advances. It was fascinating to observe how the differences in their features and behaviors played a role in determining the outcome of their encounter.

Some Facts About “Blackbird Or Starling Which Is Bigger”:

  • ✅ The European starling is bigger than the blackbird in terms of population. (Source: Our Team)
  • ✅ Starlings have a more colorful plumage compared to blackbirds. (Source: Our Team)
  • ✅ Blackbirds have a darker body color, while starlings have a metallic sheen on their feathers. (Source: Our Team)
  • ✅ Starlings are known for their murmurations, where thousands of birds fly together in unison. (Source: Our Team)
  • ✅ Both blackbirds and starlings can be found in gardens and open spaces, but starlings are more sociable and flock together. (Source: Our Team)

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is bigger, a blackbird or a starling?

Starlings are generally bigger than blackbirds. They have a medium-sized body compared to the blackbird’s smaller size.

Are starlings and blackbirds similar in appearance?

Yes, starlings and blackbirds share some similarities in their dark color. However, there are key distinguishing features such as the metallic sheen and white speckles on the feathers of starlings, which blackbirds do not have.

Where are starlings and blackbirds commonly found?

Starlings originated from Europe, Asia, and Africa but have spread around the globe, including North America. Blackbirds are native to Europe but can also be found in North America, particularly in regions like southern Canada and central America.

Are starlings and blackbirds considered pests?

Starlings are often considered pests because they can compete with native species for food and have a reputation for being agricultural and horticultural pests. Blackbirds, on the other hand, are not typically considered pests.

Do starlings and blackbirds flock together?

Yes, starlings and blackbirds can sometimes be seen flocking together in large numbers. However, starlings are known for their astonishing murmurations, where thousands of birds fly together in unison, creating a mesmerizing wildlife spectacle.

How can I differentiate between a starling and a blackbird?

A handy guide can help you distinguish between starlings and blackbirds. Look for features such as the presence of metallic sheen and white speckles on the feathers, the size of the bird (starlings are generally bigger), and the coloration of their bills (starlings have yellow bills).

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.