How Big Is a Starling?

What Is The Size Of The Starling

Starlings, known for their remarkable behaviors and beautiful songs, come in a variety of sizes depending on the species and geographical distribution. Understanding the size of starlings can give us insights into their physical characteristics and variations among different species. When discussing the size of starlings, it is important to consider their physical attributes, such as plumage, beak and feet, body shape, and wingspan. Factors like genetics and geographical distribution can also influence the size of starlings. By exploring these aspects, we can gain a better understanding of the size variations among starling species and appreciate the uniqueness of each one. Comparing starlings to other birds can also provide further context and perspective on their size. So, let’s delve into the world of starlings and explore their fascinating sizes and physical features.

  • Starlings vary in size compared to other birds, with some species being larger or smaller.
  • Physical characteristics of starlings include distinct plumage, beak, feet, body shape, and wingspan.
  • Different starling species, such as the European Starling, Asian Glossy Starling, and Pacific Starling, exhibit size variations.
  • The size of starlings can be influenced by genetics and geographical distribution.

What Is the Size of the Starling?

Did you know that the size of the starling, a fascinating bird, is quite intriguing? In this section, we’ll uncover the various dimensions of the starling’s size and compare it to other avian species. Get ready to be amazed by the unique facts and figures that highlight the starling’s physical attributes. Prepare to dive into the world of bird measurements and discover how the starling stands out from the rest of its feathered companions.

Comparing Starlings to Other Birds

Comparing Starlings to Other Birds

Characteristics Starlings Other Birds
Size Small to medium-sized birds Vary in size from small to large
Plumage Dark and iridescent feathers Varies greatly depending on the species
Beak Straight and pointed Can be long, short, curved, or hooked
Feet Strong and adapted for perching and walking Can be webbed, taloned, or adapted for swimming
Body Shape Sleek and streamlined Varies depending on the species
Wingspan Relatively short wingspan Can have short, medium, or long wingspans

When comparing starlings to other birds, it is important to note that starlings are small to medium-sized birds with dark and iridescent feathers. Their beaks are straight and pointed, while their feet are strong and adapted for perching and walking. They have a sleek and streamlined body shape.

On the other hand, other bird species vary greatly in size, plumage, beak shape, foot structure, body shape, and wingspan. Some birds can be small, like hummingbirds, while others can be large, like eagles or ostriches. Plumage can be vibrant and colorful, or more subdued depending on the species. Beaks can be long, short, curved, or hooked, and feet can be webbed, taloned, or adapted for swimming. Body shapes and wingspans also vary across different bird species.

Starlings possess unique characteristics that set them apart from other birds, but they also share similarities and differences in physical traits with various bird species.

I was once amazed by the vibrant plumage of a male starling I spotted in my backyard. Its iridescent feathers were shimmering in the sunlight, displaying hues of purple, green, and blue. It was a sight that stood out even among the other birds that visited my garden. As I compared its small size to the larger birds around, I marveled at the diversity in the avian world. Each species had its own unique set of characteristics, from the shape of their beaks to the patterns on their feathers. It was a reminder of the beauty and complexity found in nature, and a reminder to appreciate the diversity of life that surrounds us.

Physical Characteristics of Starlings

Starlings, these magnificent creatures, wow us with their physical characteristics. From their vibrant plumage to their uniquely shaped beaks and feet, and their impressive body shape and wingspan, each sub-section of this engaging exploration offers a glimpse into the fascinating world of starlings. So, brace yourself to uncover the captivating facts and figures about these incredible birds that will leave you in awe of their majestic presence.


Plumage Color Distinctive Features
Black Mostly black with glossy feathers
Iridescence Feathers display shiny, metallic colors
Mottled Brown Patchy brown feathers with dark streaks
Spotted Feathers have white spots or speckles
Chestnut Rich chestnut-colored feathers
White White feathers, especially on the belly or wings

Starlings have a diverse range of plumage colors and patterns. Some starlings are mostly black with glossy feathers, giving them a sleek and sophisticated appearance. Others display iridescence, with their feathers showcasing shiny, metallic colors that change depending on the angle of the light. Mottled brown plumage is also common among starlings, characterized by patchy brown feathers with dark streaks.

Certain starling species have spotted plumage, with feathers that feature white spots or speckles. Another distinct plumage variation is rich chestnut color, which gives these starlings a warm and striking appearance. Some starlings have white feathers, particularly on the belly or wings, giving them a contrasting and eye-catching look.

The wide range of plumage colors and patterns among starlings is a result of genetic factors and geographical distribution. These variations not only contribute to the visual diversity of starlings but also serve ecological purposes such as camouflage or attracting mates.

Fact: Starlings’ plumage colors can play a crucial role in their survival and breeding success, as they help them blend into their surroundings or attract potential mates.

Beak and Feet





of starlings play a crucial role in their survival and adaptation to their environment. Here is a table highlighting the characteristics of starlings’ beak and feet:

Beak Feet
Sharp and pointed Four toes, three facing forward and one backward
Curved shape Strong and flexible
Adapted for probing and eating insects Capable of perching and gripping branches
Allows for efficient foraging and extracting food from crevices Well-suited for climbing and grasping



of starlings is sharp and pointed, with a curved shape that is adapted for probing and eating insects. This specialized


allows them to efficiently forage and extract food from crevices, giving them a diverse diet that includes insects, fruits, seeds, and even small vertebrates.



play a crucial role in their ability to perch and navigate their environment. Starlings have four strong and flexible toes, with three facing forward and one backward. This arrangement enables them to easily grip branches and other surfaces, making them skilled climbers. Their


are also well-suited for perching, allowing them to rest and roost in trees and other elevated locations.





are essential tools for their survival and adaptability. These features enable them to find and consume a variety of food sources, as well as navigate their surroundings with agility and precision.

Starlings have sharp and curved


that are adapted for probing and eating insects, while their strong and flexible


allow for perching and gripping branches. These adaptations contribute to their success in foraging and navigating their environment.

Body Shape and Wingspan

Starling Species Body Shape Wingspan
European Starling Sleek and compact 31-38 cm
Asian Glossy Starling Slender and elongated 23-30 cm
Pacific Starling Robust and round 29-36 cm

Starlings come in various sizes and exhibit diverse body shapes and wingspans depending on the species. The European Starling, known for its sleek and compact body shape, typically has a wingspan ranging from 31 to 38 cm. In contrast, the Asian Glossy Starling has a slender and elongated body shape, with a wingspan of 23 to 30 cm. The Pacific Starling, on the other hand, has a robust and round body shape, with a wingspan ranging from 29 to 36 cm.

Such variations in body shape and wingspan among starling species can be attributed to factors like genetics and geographical distribution. These characteristics play a crucial role in determining the overall physical appearance and flight abilities of the birds.

It’s fascinating how different species of starlings have evolved to adapt to their specific environments and needs. The variations in body shape and wingspan allow them to thrive in different habitats and ecosystems. Understanding these differences helps us appreciate the diversity and adaptability of these remarkable birds.

Next time you see a starling, take a moment to observe its body shape and wingspan. You might just gain a newfound appreciation for the incredible variety within this bird family.

Size Variations Among Starling Species

Size variations among different species of starlings have sparked curiosity among bird enthusiasts. In this section, we will explore the European Starling, Asian Glossy Starling, and Pacific Starling, diving into fascinating facts and distinctive characteristics that set each species apart. Get ready to be wowed by the diversity within the starling family and discover the unique traits that make these birds so captivating.

European Starling

  1. The European Starling, or Sturnus vulgaris, is a medium-sized bird native to Europe.
  2. Size: This species of starling typically measures around 7.5 to 9 inches in length.
  3. Plumage: European Starlings have glossy black feathers with speckles of white during their non-breeding season. During the breeding season, their plumage becomes jet black with a metallic green and purple sheen.
  4. Beak and Feet: They have a slender, pointed bill and strong, pinkish legs and feet.
  5. Body Shape and Wingspan: European Starlings have a stocky build, short tail, and a wingspan of about 12 to 16 inches.
  6. Size Variations: While size variations within the European Starling species are minimal, males tend to be slightly larger than females.

Pro-tip: European Starlings are known for their exceptional vocal abilities. Their song repertoire includes an impressive range of sounds, from imitating other bird species to mimicking human speech. Keep an ear out for their melodious tunes when observing these fascinating birds in the wild.

Asian Glossy Starling

The Asian Glossy Starling is a fascinating bird species that can be found in various parts of Asia. Here are some key facts about this beautiful bird:

  • The Asian Glossy Starling is known for its glossy feathers, which have a metallic sheen that reflects different colors in the sunlight.
  • It has a medium-sized beak and feet that are perfectly adapted for perching and grasping branches.
  • In terms of body size, the Asian Glossy Starling is similar to other starling species, measuring around 20 centimeters in length.
  • Its wingspan is approximately 30 centimeters, allowing it to glide and maneuver through the trees with ease.
  • Like other starling species, the size of the Asian Glossy Starling can vary slightly depending on its geographical location.
  • This bird species is commonly found in Southeast Asia, including countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines.

The Asian Glossy Starling is native to Southeast Asia and has adapted well to urban environments. Its striking appearance and melodic song make it a favorite among bird enthusiasts. In some countries, such as the Philippines, it is considered a symbol of good luck and is often depicted in local folklore and mythology. Despite its beauty, the Asian Glossy Starling is also known to be a voracious eater, feeding on fruits, insects, and small animals. Its ability to mimic other bird calls further adds to its charm. Conservation efforts are underway to protect the Asian Glossy Starling and ensure its survival for future generations to enjoy.

Pacific Starling

The Pacific Starling, also known as Sturnus cineraceus, is a species of starling native to the Pacific islands. Here is some information about the Pacific Starling presented in a table:

Physical Characteristics Size Wingspan
Adult Pacific Starling 20-23 cm 32-39 cm
Juvenile Pacific Starling 17-19 cm 29-33 cm

The Pacific Starling is a medium-sized bird, measuring around 20-23 cm in length for adults and 17-19 cm for juveniles. It has a wingspan of approximately 32-39 cm for adults and 29-33 cm for juveniles. The size of the Pacific Starling can vary slightly depending on factors like geographical distribution and genetics.

While the Pacific Starling is smaller in size compared to other starlings, such as the European Starling or the Asian Glossy Starling, it still possesses the characteristic plumage, beak, and feet that all starling species share. Its plumage is known for its dark, glossy appearance, and its beak and feet are well-suited for foraging and climbing.

The size of the Pacific Starling, like other starling species, is influenced by genetics and geographical distribution. Genetic factors shape the overall size and physical characteristics of the species, while their geographic location can also impact size variations within populations.

The Pacific Starling is a medium-sized bird with a length of 20-23 cm for adults and 17-19 cm for juveniles. It has a wingspan of 32-39 cm for adults and 29-33 cm for juveniles. These dimensions may vary slightly based on genetics and geographical distribution.

Factors Affecting the Size of Starlings

Starlings, those enchanting birds with their murmurations, come in a variety of sizes. In this section, we’ll explore the fascinating factors that influence the size of these avian creatures. From genetic variations to geographical distribution, we’ll uncover the intriguing elements that contribute to the diverse sizes of starlings. So, get ready to delve into the world of starling sizes and uncover the secrets behind their magnificent forms.


When considering the sub-topic of “Genetics” in relation to the size of starlings, it is important to understand the role genetics plays in determining the physical characteristics of these birds.

1. Genetic Variation Genetics plays a significant role in the size variations among starling species. Different species of starlings have distinct genetic codes that contribute to variations in their size.
2. Inheritance of Size Traits The size of starlings is inherited from their parents. They receive genetic information from both their mother and father, which determines their growth and development.
3. Evolutionary Adaptations Genetic variations and mutations can occur over time, leading to evolutionary adaptations in starlings. These adaptations may result in changes in size to better suit their environment or improve their chances of survival.
4. Genetic Research Scientists conduct extensive research to study the genetic makeup of starlings and understand how specific genes influence their size. This research helps in mapping the genetic factors responsible for size variations.

Understanding the role of genetics in determining the size of starlings can provide valuable insights into their evolutionary history and ecological significance. By studying the genetic variations, scientists can further explore the relationship between genetics, size, and other physical characteristics of starlings.

Pro-tip: Genetics is just one factor that influences the size of starlings. Take into account other aspects such as environmental conditions and geographical distribution when studying their size variations.

Geographical Distribution

The geographical distribution of starlings plays a significant role in determining their size. Different species of starlings can be found in various regions around the world, and these locations often influence their physical characteristics.

To illustrate the geographical distribution of starlings, let’s take a look at the following table:

Starling Species Geographical Distribution Average Size (in centimeters)
European Starling Europe, North America, Australia 20-22
Asian Glossy Starling Asia, Southeast Asia 19-21
Pacific Starling New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Pacific Islands 22-24

As seen in the table, the size of starlings varies slightly depending on their geographical distribution. European starlings, found in Europe, North America, and Australia, measure around 20-22 centimeters in length. Asian glossy starlings, inhabiting Asia and Southeast Asia, range from 19-21 centimeters in size. Pacific starlings, native to New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Pacific Islands, are slightly larger, averaging 22-24 centimeters in length.

The geographical distribution of starlings influences their size due to environmental factors, such as habitat and availability of resources, which can impact their growth and development. Adaptation to different regions may lead to variations in body size among species.

The geographical distribution of starlings plays a role in determining their size. Understanding these differences can provide valuable insights into the diverse characteristics of these fascinating birds.

Some Facts About the Size of the Starling:

  • ✅ Starlings are chunky birds with short tails and long, slender beaks. (Source: Our Team)
  • ✅ They measure 7.9-9.1 inches in length and weigh 2.1-3.4 ounces. (Source: Our Team)
  • ✅ The wingspan of a starling ranges from 12.2-15.8 inches. (Source: Our Team)
  • ✅ The common starling is about 20 cm long with a wingspan of 31-44 cm. (Source: Our Team)
  • ✅ The weight of a common starling ranges from 58-101 grams. (Source: Our Team)

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the average size of a starling?

Starlings are medium-sized birds, measuring 7.9-9.1 inches in length and weighing 2.1-3.4 ounces. Their wingspan ranges from 12.2-15.8 inches.

What does the plumage of a common starling look like?

The common starling has glossy black plumage with a metallic sheen. At certain times of the year, the plumage is speckled with white.

How can you identify a common starling in flight?

In flight, the common starling can be distinguished by its pointed wings and dark coloration.

Where is the native range of the common starling?

The native range of the common starling includes western and southern Europe, southwestern Asia, and the northern coast of Africa.

What is the scientific classification of the common starling?

The scientific classification of the common starling is Sturnus vulgaris.

What countries has the common starling been introduced to?

The common starling has been introduced as an invasive species to various countries including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United States, Mexico, Argentina, South Africa, and Fiji.

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.