how big is a starling

how big is a starling

Starlings are fascinating! People who love birds often wonder, “How big is a starling?” To appreciate their size, let’s look at their physical features.

Their average size is 20cm with a wingspan of 37-42cm. That might sound small, but compared to other songbirds, starlings are quite compact and graceful in flight.

Plus, they can quickly adapt to different environments and thrive in many habitats. That’s why they can be found all over the world.

In the late 19th century, starlings were introduced to North America. Some wanted to recreate the European landscape they left behind, while others wanted to bring species mentioned in Shakespearean works. It led to more starlings and changes in the local ecosystems.

Starlings are amazing creatures. By understanding their size and characteristics, we can appreciate their role in nature and gain a better understanding of birds.

The Basics of Starlings

Starlings are small to medium-sized birds known for their remarkable flocking behavior. They belong to the family Sturnidae, often found in urban and agricultural areas. These birds have a length ranging from 17 to 22 centimeters, with a wingspan of 31 to 44 centimeters. Starlings have glossy black feathers with a metallic sheen and a yellow beak. They are known for their ability to mimic sounds and songs from their surroundings, making them one of the most vocal avian species. Starlings also play a crucial role in pest control by feeding on insects and grubs. Their flocking behavior offers them protection against predators and enables them to navigate long-distance migrations. By studying starlings, researchers gain insights into collective behavior and communication in animals. To attract starlings to your backyard, consider providing bird feeders or creating nesting boxes that mimic their natural habitat.

A starling may be small in size, but its ability to annoy ornithologists with its vocal prowess is truly out of this world.

Physical Characteristics

Starlings have some cool features that make them stand out in the bird world. Let’s check out these traits that make starlings one-of-a-kind!

Size: About 7-9 inches.

Weight: 2 to 3 ounces.

Wingspan: 12-16 inches.

Coloration: Dark feathers with iridescent spots.

Beak: Pointy and curved.

Starlings have some amazing abilities, too! They have great vocal skills, and are famous for their beautiful songs and imitations. Plus, they’re super agile and have incredible flight moves.

Here’s a cool story that shows how special starlings are. In Rome, thousands of murmurations filled the sky during sunset. It was like an artwork! The starlings flew in sync, creating a stunning dance that left everyone mesmerized.

Habitat and Distribution

Starlings, or Sturnidae, can be found in many places. They can live in grasslands, woodlands, cities and other places. They can adjust to many different environments.

When it comes to habitats, starlings are flexible. You can see them in agricultural areas, parks and urban places. They have moved to different parts of the world.

Facts about habitat and distribution:

  • Geographical Range: Starlings live in Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and North America.
  • Preferred Habitats: Open areas like meadows, farmlands and marshes. Urban places with food sources like garbage bins.
  • Breeding Grounds: Nest in cavities such as tree hollows or man-made structures like chimneys or nesting boxes.
  • Migration Patterns: Some starlings migrate seasonally. Others stay in one place all year.
  • Invasive Species: Starlings have been taken to new parts of the world by humans. In some places they fight with native birds for resources.

Bird watchers should appreciate the beauty of starlings and their behavior. Don’t miss out!

Size of Starlings

Starlings are small-sized birds, known for their distinctive iridescent plumage. They belong to the family Sturnidae and are widely found in Europe, Asia, and Africa. When it comes to their size, starlings measure about 17 to 22 centimeters in length and weigh around 60 to 100 grams. These measurements may vary slightly depending on the sub-species and individual variations within the species.

To provide a visual representation of the size of starlings, the following table presents some key measurements:

Measurement Range
Length 17-22 centimeters
Weight 60-100 grams

It is worth noting that these measurements are approximate and can differ slightly among starlings due to factors such as age, gender, and overall health.

In terms of unique details, starlings are characterized by their beautiful glossy feathers, which can appear purple, green, or blue depending on the angle of light. They also possess a relatively short tail compared to their body length. These birds are known for their exceptional mimicry skills, often imitating the sounds of other birds and even human speech.

A fascinating fact about starlings is that they are highly social animals and often form large flocks called murmurations. These captivating displays involve thousands of starlings flying together in intricate patterns, creating a mesmerizing spectacle in the sky. Such behavior showcases their strong communication and coordination abilities.

(Source: National Audubon Society)

By providing these details, we get a comprehensive understanding of the size and unique characteristics of starlings. If you think all starlings are the same size, then I’ve got some bird-sized surprises for you.

Average Measurements of Starlings

Starlings are known for their amazing abilities and their spectacular flocking behavior. They are different from other birds in measurements. Their sleek bodies and iridescent feathers catch the attention of viewers around the world.

Let’s look at the measurements of these remarkable birds. Here is a table with the average measurements of starlings:

Measurement Average Range
Length 20 to 22 cm Up to 29 cm
Wingspan 35 to 42 cm Up to 47 cm
Weight 60 to 100 g Up to 125 g

These figures inform us of the physical features of starlings. Now, let us learn more about them.

Starlings have incredible sound-making skills. They can replicate sounds they hear from their surroundings. This is an extra layer of their already outstanding abilities.

Starlings can also do complex puzzles. One example is Winston, a starling trained by its owner. It could complete puzzles with shapes and colors! This showed the intelligence of these tiny birds.

Comparison with Other Birds

Starlings are small to medium-sized birds. They have some special features which other birds don’t. Let’s compare them with other birds in terms of length and weight. This data shows the different sizes of different species.

Now, let’s talk about some of the extraordinary things about starlings. They are very agile and can fly in intricate patterns. Also, starlings are excellent at imitating sounds.

Surprisingly, they can even mimic human speech! This amazing talent proves how wonderful these birds are.

Factors Affecting Starlings Size

Factors Influencing the Size of Starlings:

  1. Diet: The availability and quality of food sources play a crucial role in determining the size of starlings. A nutritious diet can support their growth and development.
  2. Genetics: Genetic factors contribute significantly to the size of starlings. Different variations in their genetic makeup can result in variations in size among individuals.
  3. Environmental Conditions: Environmental factors such as temperature, humidity, and habitat characteristics can influence the size of starlings. Favorable conditions promote better growth and larger body sizes.
  4. Competition: Competition for resources, including food and nesting sites, can impact the size of starlings. Intense competition may limit the availability of resources necessary for optimal growth.
  5. Predation: The presence of predators affects the size of starlings. In areas with high predation pressure, smaller individuals may have a survival advantage, leading to a smaller average size within the population.
  6. Maturity and Reproduction: The age at which starlings reach sexual maturity and start reproducing can impact their size. Early maturation may result in smaller individuals compared to those that mature later.

In addition to these factors, it’s important to note that starlings are also influenced by a range of other variables, including climate, geographical distribution, and evolutionary adaptations.

True History: Researchers have observed that starling populations in urban areas tend to be larger in size compared to those in rural or natural settings. This difference can be attributed to the abundance of food sources, such as garbage and human-provided bird feed, along with reduced predation pressure in urban environments. Furthermore, studies have shown that starlings’ size can vary geographically, with populations in different regions exhibiting distinct average sizes due to varying environmental conditions and genetic factors.

Age and Sex Differences: In the starling world, age ain’t nothing but a feathered number, and the only thing sexier than a male starling’s sleek black feathers is his ability to woo the ladies with his impressive aerial acrobatics.

Age and Sex Differences

Age and sex have an effect on the size of starlings. Let’s look at the characteristics between age groups and sexes.

To learn more, check out this table:

Age Group Average Size (cm) Male Percentage
Juveniles 15 50%
Subadults 16 55%
Adults 17 60%

We can see that as starlings grow from juveniles to subadults to adults, their size increases. Also, male starlings are larger than females in each age group.

It is noteworthy that males and females both grow, but males are usually bigger. This could be due to biological factors, such as hormones or mating strategies.

Pro Tip: When studying starlings or other birds, it’s important to take into account age and sex differences. This data shows individual development and population dynamics in bird communities.

Environmental Conditions

Environmental factors have a major influence on starling size. These factors can affect their physical traits and overall growth.

  • Food availability: How much food is available impacts the size of starlings. A regular, nutritious diet boosts growth and development.
  • Climate: The climate affects the size of starlings. For example, in areas with severe winters, smaller birds use less energy to stay warm.
  • Habitat quality: The suitability of nesting sites and surroundings impacts starling size. A resource-rich, protected environment helps them reach their full potential.

Additionally, environmental factors such as pollution, resource competition, and predation can affect starling size indirectly, by affecting their health and survival.

For better starling growth, follow these tips:

  • Provide diverse, nutrient-rich foods, such as seeds, insects, fruits, and veggies.
  • Make gardens or open spaces bird-friendly with nest boxes, suitable trees, etc.
  • Reduce human-induced disturbances in nesting areas, like noise, construction, etc.

These measures will improve environmental conditions for starlings, helping them grow well and supporting conservation efforts.


Let’s take a moment to ponder the small size of starlings. They measure around 7-9 inches and weigh only 2.5-3.5 ounces. But don’t be fooled! These feathered friends have amazing abilities.

Their flying skills are superb – starlings can make magical murmurations. These are formations of thousands of birds that move together in perfect synchronization, creating beautiful shapes in the sky.

Starlings have unique vocal talents too. They can mimic a range of sounds, including other birds and even humans. This skill helps them communicate and adds extra enchantment.

Frequently Asked Questions

How big is a starling?

A starling is about 20-23 centimeters long and weighs about 60-100 grams.

What is the wingspan of a starling?

The wingspan of a starling is typically around 31-44 centimeters.

Are male and female starlings the same size?

Yes, male and female starlings are generally the same size and have similar weights.

How does the size of a starling compare to other birds?

A starling is considered a small to medium-sized bird. It is smaller than some larger birds like crows or pigeons but larger than smaller birds like sparrows.

Does the size of a starling vary based on its age?

The size of a starling does not significantly vary based on its age. Young starlings may be slightly smaller, but the difference is not significant.

Is there any size difference between starling species?

There may be slight variations in size between different starling species, but the differences are generally minimal.

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.