How To Get A Pet Starling

How To Get A Pet Starling

Getting a pet starling can be a unique and rewarding experience for bird enthusiasts. Starlings are small to medium-sized birds known for their beautiful plumage and melodious songs. Before bringing a starling into your home, it’s important to understand what a starling is and the considerations involved in owning one.

A starling is a type of bird belonging to the Sturnidae family. They come in various species, each with its distinct characteristics and requirements as pets. Understanding the different types of starlings available for ownership is crucial in choosing the right one that suits your preferences and capabilities.

However, before getting a pet starling, there are important considerations to keep in mind. Firstly, it’s essential to understand the legal implications of owning a starling as some species may have restrictions or permit requirements. Assessing whether a starling is the right pet for you involves evaluating their needs, such as care, attention, and space requirements, to ensure you can provide them with a suitable environment.

Once you’ve made an informed decision to get a pet starling, knowing how to obtain one is the next step. Finding a reputable and reliable source is crucial for the well-being of the bird. It’s important to research and identify authorized breeders, reputable pet stores, or avian rescues that provide ethically sourced starlings.

Considering the costs associated with getting a pet starling is also essential. Along with the cost of the bird itself, there are expenses related to housing, food, toys, and veterinary care that need to be budgeted for.

Caring for a pet starling requires attention to their specific needs. Providing a proper diet, suitable housing and creating an enriched environment for mental and physical stimulation are key aspects of their care. Training and socialization are important to ensure a healthy and well-adapted bird.

Lastly, ensuring the health and well-being of a pet starling involves regular veterinary check-ups and being aware of common health issues that may affect these birds. By staying proactive and seeking routine veterinary care, you can help maintain the health and longevity of your pet starling.

Understanding the intricacies of getting a pet starling and the responsibilities that come with it is essential in providing a happy and fulfilling life for both you and your feathered companion.

Key takeaway:

  • Starling types as pets: There are different types of starlings that can be kept as pets, each with their own characteristics and requirements.
  • Consider legal implications: Before getting a pet starling, it is important to understand the legal implications and regulations associated with owning one.
  • Care and maintenance: Proper care for a pet starling involves considerations such as feeding and nutrition, providing suitable housing and environment, and ensuring training and socialization.

What is a Starling?

A starling is a species of bird that belongs to the family Sturnidae. So, what is a starling? These birds are known for their glossy black feathers with iridescent purple and green hues, and their ability to mimic sounds and vocalizations of other birds and even human speech. Starlings are native to Europe, Asia, and Africa, but they have also been introduced to other parts of the world.

Starlings, small to medium-sized birds, typically measuring around 7 to 9 inches in length, are fascinating creatures. They have a robust build, short tails, and sharp, pointed beaks. Their diet consists of a variety of foods, including insects, fruits, seeds, and nectar.

One fascinating aspect of starlings is their remarkable ability to form large flocks, called murmurations, in the sky. These murmurations can contain thousands or even millions of birds, and their synchronized flying patterns create breathtaking displays.

In terms of behavior, starlings are highly social birds and are known to nest in cavities, such as tree holes, buildings, or nest boxes. They are adaptable and can thrive in various habitats, including urban areas.

While starlings are interesting and beautiful birds to observe in their natural habitat, it’s important to note that they are not suitable as pets. They are wild birds that require specific care and environments to thrive. Interfering with their natural behavior by keeping them as pets can be detrimental to their well-being and is also illegal in many countries.

Therefore, the best way to appreciate starlings is by observing them in the wild or attracting them to your backyard with bird feeders and nesting boxes.

What are the Different Types of Starlings as Pets?

There are several different types of starlings that can be kept as pets. Each type has its own unique characteristics and requirements. Here is a table providing information on the different types of starlings as pets:

Type of Starling Size Lifespan Temperament
Common Starling Small 8-15 years Intelligent
European Starling Medium 8-15 years Social
Asian Pied Starling Small 10-20 years Vocal
Superb Starling Small 5-10 years Colorful
Violet-backed Starling Medium 10-15 years Playful

The Common Starling is a small starling with high intelligence. They are known for their mimicry abilities and can be taught to imitate human speech. European Starlings are medium-sized birds that are highly social and enjoy being part of a flock. Asian Pied Starlings are small, vocal birds that make a wide range of sounds and can be quite talkative with proper training. Superb Starlings are small, colorful birds that are playful and active. Violet-backed Starlings are medium-sized birds with vibrant plumage and are known for their playful behaviors.

It’s important to consider the needs and temperaments of each type of starling when choosing the right pet for you. Make sure to provide them with a suitable environment, proper nutrition, and regular socialization and training.

Fun fact: Starlings are known for their ability to mimic not only human speech but also the songs of other birds.

Considerations Before Getting a Pet Starling

  • Space requirements: Consider the space needed to properly house a pet starling. They require a large cage or aviary with enough room for them to fly and exercise.
  • Diet and nutrition: Starlings have specific dietary needs. They require a varied diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, insects, and high-quality commercial bird food. It is essential to provide them with a balanced diet to ensure their health and well-being.
  • Socialization and companionship: Starlings are highly social birds and thrive in the company of other starlings or birds. Consider getting more than one starling or providing regular opportunities for social interaction to prevent loneliness and boredom.
  • Behavioral traits: Before getting a pet starling, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with their behavioral traits. Starlings are known for their vocalizations, which can be quite loud and mimic other sounds. They are also highly active birds that require mental stimulation and plenty of toys and activities.
  • Lifespan and commitment: Starlings can live up to 20 years or more with proper care. Getting a pet starling requires a long-term commitment and willingness to provide for their needs throughout their lifespan.
  • Legal considerations: It’s important to check local regulations and laws regarding pet starlings. Some areas may have restrictions or require permits for keeping certain bird species.

What Are the Legal Implications of Owning a Starling?

What Are the Legal Implications of Owning a Starling?

Owning a starling comes with certain legal implications that you should be aware of. Here are some important facts to consider regarding the ownership of starlings:

  1. Legal restrictions: Familiarizing yourself with the laws and regulations regarding the ownership of starlings in your area is crucial. Some countries or states may require specific permits or licenses to own a starling as a pet.
  2. Protected species: Depending on your location, certain starling species may be protected under wildlife conservation laws. It is essential to determine if the species you are interested in falls under any such protections to ensure compliance with the law.
  3. Illegal trade: Owning a starling obtained through illegal means, such as capturing wild birds or purchasing from unauthorized sources, is against the law. Always ensure that you acquire your pet starling from reputable breeders or sellers who operate within legal frameworks.
  4. Ethical considerations: When contemplating owning a starling, it is important to think about the ethical implications of keeping a wild bird as a pet. Make sure that you can provide the necessary care, attention, and suitable living environment for the bird’s well-being.
  5. Responsibility: Owning a starling entails the responsibility of providing proper care, nutrition, and veterinary attention when necessary. You must be committed to meeting the bird’s needs and ensuring its welfare at all times.

To understand the legal implications of owning a pet starling in your specific location, it is essential to conduct thorough research and consult with local authorities or bird organizations. By doing so, you can ensure a lawful and responsible ownership experience.

Is a Starling the Right Pet for You?

Are you unsure if a starling would make the right pet for you? Before making a decision, take into account the following factors:

  1. Time commitment: You should be aware that starlings require daily attention and interaction. These social birds thrive on human contact, so be prepared to spend time with them every day.
  2. Space requirements: It’s important to note that starlings need a spacious cage or aviary that allows them to move and fly freely. Consider whether you have enough space in your home to meet their needs.
  3. Noise level: Keep in mind that starlings are known for their vocal abilities and can be quite noisy. If you live in an apartment or have close neighbors, the noise level may be a concern.
  4. Longevity: Starlings have a long lifespan, often living up to 20 years or more. Think about whether you are ready for the long-term commitment involved in caring for a pet bird.
  5. Feeding and care: It’s crucial to note that starlings have specific dietary requirements, needing a balanced diet that includes seeds, fruits, and vegetables. Consider whether you have access to the necessary nutrition and if you are willing to provide proper care.
  6. Legal regulations: Before contemplating a starling as a pet, make sure to research and understand the legal implications of owning one in your area. Keep in mind that certain bird species may have restrictions on keeping them as pets.
  7. Allergies and sensitivities: Determine whether you or anyone in your household has allergies or sensitivities to birds or bird-related allergens.

Considering these factors will enable you to make an informed decision about whether a starling is the right pet for you.

How to Obtain a Pet Starling

Are you interested in obtaining a pet starling? If so, here are the steps you should follow:

  1. Research the legal requirements: Before getting a pet starling, it is crucial to thoroughly research the legal requirements in your area. It is possible that certain places might have restrictions or require permits for keeping wild birds as pets.
  2. Find a reputable breeder or rescue organization: The key is to look for breeders or rescue organizations that specialize in starlings. This way, you can ensure that the birds you obtain are healthy and well-cared-for.
  3. Prepare a suitable habitat: Starlings require a spacious cage or aviary that allows them to fly and move around comfortably. Make sure the habitat provides perches, toys, and areas for feeding and bathing.
  4. Provide proper nutrition: To meet the specific dietary needs of starlings, feed them a balanced diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, grains, and protein. For precise feeding recommendations, consult with your breeder or avian veterinarian.
  5. Socialize and train your starling: Building trust and creating a bond with your starling requires spending quality time together every day. Engage them with interactive toys and activities to provide mental stimulation. Training can also be useful in teaching basic commands and ensuring mental enrichment.
  6. Regular veterinary care: Ensure the health of your starling by scheduling regular check-ups with an avian veterinarian. Essential aspects of veterinary care include vaccinations, parasite control, and routine health screenings.
  7. Follow legal and ethical guidelines: It is crucial to comply with all legal requirements and ethical guidelines related to keeping pet starlings. Always prioritize the welfare and well-being of your bird.

Fun fact: Did you know that starlings are highly skilled at mimicry? They can imitate various sounds, including other bird calls and even human speech!

Where Can You Get a Pet Starling?

When looking to get a pet starling, one may wonder where can you find one. There are a few options available for you to consider.

1. Local breeders: An excellent option is to search for local breeders who specialize in starlings. They might have baby starlings ready for adoption.

2. Avian rescues: Another viable choice is to reach out to avian rescues in your vicinity. These organizations often rescue or receive starlings surrendered by previous owners, making them available for adoption.

3. Exotic pet stores: Some select exotic pet stores may have starlings for sale. However, it is crucial to research the store and ensure that they adhere to ethical breeding and selling practices.

4. Online platforms: Moreover, many dedicated online platforms and websites exist that facilitate connections between pet owners and breeders or sellers of various bird species, including starlings. These platforms typically provide detailed information about the starling and the seller, allowing you to make an informed decision.

Remember, conducting thorough research is paramount, and it is essential to choose a reputable source to obtain your pet starling. Additionally, check the local regulations and legal requirements in your area pertaining to owning a pet starling. Ensure that you possess the necessary permits or licenses if required.

What Are the Costs Associated with Getting a Pet Starling?

  • The cost of buying a pet starling can range from $50 to $200, depending on factors such as the bird’s age, breed, and rarity.
  • In addition to the purchase price, you’ll need to consider the cost of the necessary equipment and supplies for your starling. This can include a cage, perches, toys, food and water dishes, bedding, and cleaning supplies. These expenses can amount to around $100 to $200.
  • Starlings have specific dietary needs, and their diet primarily consists of fruits, vegetables, grains, and protein. The monthly cost of food and treats can range from $20 to $50, depending on the quality and variety of the food.
  • Like any pet, starlings may require veterinary care throughout their lives. This includes regular check-ups, vaccinations, and potential medical treatments. The cost of veterinary care can vary significantly, but you should budget around $100 to $200 per year for routine care.
  • Other costs to consider include grooming, toys, and potential unforeseen expenses such as emergency veterinary care or repairs to the bird’s cage or toys. It’s important to have some extra funds set aside for these unexpected costs.

It’s also essential to note that owning a pet starling is a long-term commitment. Starlings can live for up to 20 years or more, so you should be prepared for the financial responsibility associated with their care throughout their lifespan.

Caring for a Pet Starling

Caring for a pet starling is a fascinating journey filled with nurturing and companionship. In this section, we will dive into the essentials of providing a loving environment for your feathered friend. From ensuring their nutritional needs are met to creating a comfortable living space, we’ll explore the key aspects of feeding and housing. We’ll uncover effective training and socialization techniques to foster a strong bond with your starling companion. Get ready to embark on a delightful adventure of avian care!

Feeding and Nutrition

Feeding and nutrition are vital aspects of caring for a pet starling. To ensure the health and well-being of your feathered friend, it is important to provide a balanced and nutritious diet.

Food Details
Seeds and Pellets Feeding a variety of seeds and pellets specially formulated for starlings is essential for their nutrition. These foods provide the necessary nutrients and vitamins.
Fruits and Vegetables As part of their diet, offer fresh fruits and vegetables such as apples, grapes, carrots, and leafy greens. These additions provide extra vitamins and fiber.
Insects and Grubs Starlings, being omnivores, enjoy consuming insects and grubs. Offer these as a protein source, ensuring they are free from pesticides and safe for consumption.
Protein Occasionally incorporate lean sources of protein, such as cooked chicken or eggs, into their diet. This helps fulfill their nutritional requirements.
Water Always provide your starling with fresh, clean water. It is important to change the water daily and ensure they have constant access to it.
Supplements In consultation with an avian veterinarian, consider adding bird-safe supplements to their diet to ensure they receive all the necessary nutrients.

Monitoring your starling’s eating habits and adjusting their diet as needed is crucial. Avoid feeding them foods that are toxic to birds, such as chocolate, avocado, and caffeine. Furthermore, be mindful of the quantity of treats given, as excessive consumption can lead to nutrient imbalances.

Remember, each starling may have unique dietary requirements, so consult with an avian veterinarian who can provide specific guidance based on your bird’s needs. Providing a well-balanced diet will contribute to the overall health and happiness of your pet starling.

Housing and Environment

When it comes to housing and environment for your pet starling, there are a few important considerations to keep in mind:

  1. Cage size: Your pet starling will require a commodious cage that allows for comfortable movement and exercise. The cage should measure at least 24 inches in length, 18 inches in width, and 24 inches in height to provide ample room for your bird to spread its wings and hop around.
  2. Cage material: Opt for a cage constructed of stainless steel or a durable powder-coated metal. These materials are easy to clean and non-toxic, guaranteeing a safe environment for your pet.
  3. Bar spacing: Ensure that the spacing between the bars of the cage is suitable for the size of your starling. The bars should be close enough to prevent escape but not excessively tight to restrict movement or cause injury.
  4. Perches and toys: Offer a variety of perches in different sizes and textures to promote foot and leg health. Incorporate toys, such as bells, swings, and puzzles, to encourage exercise and mental stimulation.
  5. Environmental enrichment: Create a stimulating setting for your starling by providing branches, leaves, and natural materials for foraging and playing. Provide opportunities for your bird to bathe, either with a shallow dish or a spray bottle, as starlings enjoy water activities.
  6. Temperature and lighting: Maintain a comfortable temperature range between 65-80°F (18-27°C) inside the cage. Place the cage away from direct sunlight and drafts to prevent overheating or chilling.
  7. Cleanliness: Regularly maintain cleanliness by cleaning the cage, perches, and toys to ensure a hygienic environment for your starling. Provide fresh water daily and change the bedding regularly to prevent bacteria buildup.

Remember, starlings are social birds that thrive on interaction and mental stimulation. Devote quality time to your pet, provide regular socialization, and consider acquiring a companion starling for optimal well-being.

Fact: Were you aware that starlings are exceptional mimics and can imitate human speech and sounds? With appropriate training and socialization, your pet starling might impress you with its ability to mimic your voice or even household sounds!

Training and Socialization

Training and socialization are crucial components of responsible pet starling ownership. Here are some key points to consider:

  1. Begin training your pet starling early: It is important to initiate training as soon as you bring your starling home. Young starlings are more receptive to training and socialization.
  2. Utilize positive reinforcement: Employ positive reinforcement techniques, such as rewards and treats, to encourage desired behaviors in your starling. This will help them associate training with positive experiences.
  3. Teach fundamental commands: Start with simple commands like “step up” and “come here.” Consistency and repetition play a pivotal role in successfully training your starling.
  4. Promote social interaction with other individuals: Introduce your starling to various people to foster comfort with individuals other than their owner. This will enhance their sociability and friendliness.
  5. Expose them to new environments: Take your starling to different locations to expose them to novel sights, sounds, and experiences. This will aid in their adaptation to diverse environments and minimize stress.
  6. Encourage flight: Provide a safe and supervised environment for your starling to freely fly. This will enable them to exercise and maintain their natural instincts.
  7. Exercise patience: Each starling is unique and may require additional time and patience during the training process. It is crucial to remain calm and consistent in your approach.

Did you know that starlings are exceptionally intelligent birds capable of mimicking a wide range of sounds, including human speech?

Health and Veterinary Care for Starlings

Keeping your pet starling healthy and happy is crucial for their overall well-being. In this section, we’ll dive into the world of health and veterinary care for starlings. From common health issues that pet starlings may face to the importance of regular veterinary check-ups, we’ll explore the key aspects of ensuring your feathered friend receives the best care possible. So, let’s soar into the fascinating realm of starling health together!

Common Health Issues in Pet Starlings

When it comes to pet starlings, it is important to be aware of the common health issues they may face. These issues, which can vary in severity, may require attention from a veterinarian. Here are some common health issues in pet starlings:

  • Respiratory infections: Pet starlings are susceptible to respiratory infections caused by bacteria or viruses. Symptoms of these infections may include sneezing, coughing, and difficulty breathing. It is essential to seek prompt veterinary care to treat these infections.
  • Feather plucking: Feather plucking is a behavior in which a starling excessively preens and pulls out its feathers. This behavior can be attributed to stress, boredom, or underlying medical conditions. Identifying and addressing the underlying cause of feather plucking is crucial to prevent further damage.
  • Obesity: Without a balanced diet and regular exercise, starlings can easily become overweight. Obesity in starlings can lead to health problems like heart disease and joint issues. Therefore, it is important to provide these birds with a healthy diet and opportunities for physical activity to maintain an optimal weight.
  • Parasites: Parasites such as mites and lice can infest a starling’s feathers and skin, causing discomfort and potential health problems. Regular cleaning of the bird’s habitat and routine veterinary check-ups can help prevent and treat parasite infestations.
  • Nutritional deficiencies: Pet starlings can experience nutritional deficiencies if they are not provided with an appropriate diet. These birds have specific dietary needs and should be fed a varied diet that includes fruits, vegetables, and suitable bird pellets. A well-balanced diet can help prevent deficiencies and ensure overall health.

If you are considering getting a pet starling, it is crucial to be aware of these common health issues and take appropriate measures to prevent and address them. Regular veterinary check-ups, a suitable diet, and a clean living environment are key to maintaining the health and well-being of your pet starling.

Regular Veterinary Check-ups

Regular veterinary check-ups are essential for the well-being of pet starlings. These check-ups should be scheduled with a qualified avian veterinarian at least once a year. During these appointments, the vet will conduct a thorough examination of the starling’s overall health and address any concerns or issues that may arise.

One important aspect of regular veterinary check-ups is monitoring the starling’s weight. Weight fluctuations can indicate underlying health problems, so it is crucial to keep track of any changes. The vet will also assess the bird’s feathers, beak, and feet for any signs of abnormalities or infections. They will examine the starling’s eyes, ears, and respiratory system to ensure there are no issues.

Regular veterinary check-ups also provide an opportunity to discuss the starling’s diet and nutrition. The vet can provide guidance on the best diet for the bird and make any necessary adjustments to ensure optimal health. They may also recommend supplements or additional food items to enhance the starling’s well-being.

Vaccinations and preventive treatments can be administered during regular check-ups to protect the starling from common diseases and parasites. The vet will advise on the appropriate vaccinations and treatments based on the starling’s specific needs and potential exposure risks.

Regular veterinary check-ups are essential for the proper care and health of pet starlings. By scheduling these appointments, owners can ensure that their starlings receive the necessary preventive care, monitoring, and guidance for a happy and healthy life.

The tradition of caring for pet starlings dates back centuries. In ancient Rome, starlings were kept as pets for their charming songs and ability to mimic human speech. These intelligent birds captivated the hearts of many and were prized for their entertaining nature.

Throughout history, people have developed a deep connection with starlings, admiring their beauty and captivating behaviors. Today, pet starlings continue to enchant bird enthusiasts with their vocal abilities and playful personalities.

With the advancement of veterinary care, regular check-ups have become a crucial part of maintaining the health and well-being of pet starlings. By partnering with avian veterinarians, owners can ensure that their beloved birds receive the necessary care to thrive in captivity.

As the bond between humans and starlings continues to grow, the importance of regular veterinary check-ups remains paramount. These appointments allow owners to monitor their starlings’ health and address any issues promptly, ensuring a long and fulfilling life for these treasured pets.

Some Facts About How To Get A Pet Starling:

  • ✅ Visually sexing a starling can help determine if it is male or female. (Source:
  • ✅ European starlings require animal protein in their diet, and parrot hand-feeding formula is not sufficient. (Source:
  • ✅ There are cage ideas with photos and information available for building or purchasing a cage for starlings. (Source:
  • ✅ The Starling Talk message board provides helpful tips and posts from other starling owners. (Source:
  • ✅ European starlings can mimic words and be as responsive and intelligent as parrots. (Source:

Frequently Asked Questions

How do the state’s laws affect keeping native North American birds as pets?

In the USA, native North American birds are protected by federal law and cannot be kept as pets. However, introduced species like the European Starling are not covered by this prohibition.

What is the European Starling’s diet and why is animal protein important?

The European Starling’s diet requires animal protein, and parrot hand-feeding formula is not sufficient. Animal protein is necessary for their overall health and well-being.

What makes the European Starling an interesting pet compared to typical cage birds?

The European Starling is an interesting pet because it can be as responsive and intelligent as parrots. They can mimic words and are seen as more of a “pet” than a “cage bird” in the right hands.

Can I find helpful tips and advice from other starling owners?

Yes, the Starling Talk message board offers helpful tips and posts from other starling owners. It’s a great resource for gaining knowledge and learning from experienced starling owners.

Is it legal to possess Northern Cardinals and Painted Buntings as pets in the USA?

No, the possession of Northern Cardinals, Painted Buntings, and other native US birds is illegal in the USA. However, the European Starling provides an opportunity to work with a different species.

What are some unexpected talents or behaviors of pet starlings?

Pet starlings can have unexpected talents, such as talking and mimicking words. They can also develop a strong bond with their owners and exhibit behaviors similar to other household pets.

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.