What Does A Midwestern Starling Bird Look Like.?

What Does A Midwestern Starling Bird Look Like

Midwestern Starling Birds, also known as the Common Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris), are small to medium-sized birds with distinctive features that set them apart in the avian world. Understanding their physical appearance, habitat, behavior, diet, and conservation status is key to appreciating these fascinating creatures.

Physical Appearance of Midwestern Starling Birds:

  1. Size and Shape: Midwestern Starling Birds typically measure around 7-9 inches (18-23 cm) in length and have a plump, rounded body shape.
  2. Plumage and Coloration: Their plumage displays a combination of glossy black feathers with an iridescent green or purple sheen. During the breeding season, they develop small, white spots scattered on their bodies, which fade during the non-breeding season.

Habitat and Distribution of Midwestern Starling Birds:

Midwestern Starling Birds are native to Europe and western Asia but were introduced to North America during the 19th century. They have successfully adapted to various habitats and are commonly found in urban areas, agricultural fields, woodlands, and grasslands throughout the Midwestern region.

Behavior and Vocalization of Midwestern Starling Birds:

These gregarious birds are highly social, often forming large flocks that can produce impressive aerial displays known as murmurations. Midwestern Starling Birds are known for their unique vocalization, which includes a combination of whistles, chirps, and mimicry of other bird calls and environmental sounds.

Diet and Feeding Habits of Midwestern Starling Birds:

Midwestern Starling Birds have an omnivorous diet, feeding on various insects, fruits, berries, seeds, and grains. They are known for their ability to forage both on the ground and in the trees.

Reproduction and Nesting Habits of Midwestern Starling Birds:

During the breeding season, Midwestern Starling Birds build nests in tree cavities, crevices, or man-made structures. They lay an average of 4-6 eggs and both parents take turns incubating them. The young birds leave the nest after about three weeks.

Migration Patterns of Midwestern Starling Birds:

Midwestern Starling Birds are non-migratory in most parts of their range, but they may exhibit local movements depending on food availability and weather conditions.

Conservation Status of Midwestern Starling Birds:

While Midwestern Starling Birds are considered abundant and widespread, their populations have shown a slight decline in recent years. They are not currently listed as threatened or endangered, but their conservation status should be monitored due to potential habitat loss and the impact of certain human activities.

Understanding the physical characteristics, habitat preferences, behavioral traits, diet, reproductive habits, migration patterns, and conservation status of Midwestern Starling Birds provides valuable insights into their role in the ecosystem and their conservation needs.

Key takeaways:

– Midwestern Starling birds have a distinct physical appearance, with a medium size and rounded shape. They have glossy black feathers with metallic green and purple iridescence.
– These birds are commonly found in the Midwest region of the United States, particularly in open fields, grassy areas, and farmlands.
– Midwestern Starling birds exhibit interesting behaviors and have a variety of vocalizations, including mimicry of other bird species.
– Their diet consists of a wide range of food, including insects, fruits, seeds, and grains.
– Midwestern Starling birds reproduce and nest in tree cavities or man-made structures, forming communal roosts.
– They are known to migrate seasonally, with some individuals traveling long distances.
– The conservation status of Midwestern Starling birds is of least concern, as they are abundant and adaptable to various habitats.

Physical Appearance of Midwestern Starling Birds

Midwestern Starling Birds are known for their distinct physical appearance, with fascinating characteristics that set them apart. In this section, we will take a closer look at their size, shape, plumage, and coloration, revealing intriguing details that define their unique aesthetic. From their sleek form to the vibrant hues that adorn their feathers, let’s uncover the marvels of the Midwestern Starling Birds’ physical attributes.

Size and Shape

The size and shape of Midwestern Starling Birds can be described as follows:

Size and Shape Midwestern Starling Birds are small to medium-sized birds with a compact and stocky body shape, short legs, and a short tail.
Weight They typically weigh between 60 to 100 grams.
Length They measure approximately 19 to 23 centimeters in length.
Wingspan Their wingspan ranges from 37 to 42 centimeters.
Shape Midwestern Starling Birds have a compact and stocky body shape with short legs and a short tail.

When it comes to their appearance, Midwestern Starling Birds exhibit a prominent size and shape within their specific range. They are relatively lightweight birds, weighing around 60 to 100 grams. Their body length ranges from 19 to 23 centimeters, while their wingspan extends between 37 and 42 centimeters. Their overall size and shape can be described as compact and stocky, characterized by short legs and a short tail.

These physical attributes enable Midwestern Starling Birds to navigate through their natural habitats efficiently. Their size and shape contribute to their flight capabilities and agility in various environments.

Plumage and Coloration

The striking and distinct plumage and coloration of Midwestern Starling birds is truly captivating. Their entire body, including their head, neck, and wings, is covered in glossy black feathers, giving them a sleek and elegant appearance both in flight and at rest.

What sets these birds apart is their iridescent feathers, which shimmer with shades of green, purple, and blue when the light hits them from different angles. This iridescence adds a breathtaking and beautiful quality to their overall appearance.

In addition to their glossy black plumage, Midwestern Starlings often have bright yellow eyes, creating a fascinating contrast with their dark feathers and contributing to their unique and captivating look.

Remarkably, the coloration of their plumage remains consistent year-round, showing no significant variations between seasons or age groups.

Not only are the plumage and coloration of Midwestern Starling birds aesthetically pleasing, but they also serve important purposes. The dark coloration helps them blend seamlessly into their surroundings, providing essential camouflage and protection from predators. During the breeding season, the iridescence of their feathers plays a vital role in attracting potential mates, as it signals their health and vitality.

Habitat and Distribution of Midwestern Starling Birds

Habitat and Distribution of Midwestern Starling Birds

The Midwestern starling birds, also known as common starlings (Sturnus vulgaris), are widely distributed in the United States. They primarily inhabit open areas such as grasslands, agricultural fields, and urban environments. These birds are highly adaptable and can thrive in a variety of habitats.

The distribution of Midwestern starling birds extends throughout the Midwestern states of the United States, including Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. They can also be found in other parts of the country, such as the eastern and western coasts, as well as in Canada and Mexico.

Midwestern starling birds are known for their highly social behavior, often gathering in large flocks during both the breeding and non-breeding seasons. They have a diverse diet that includes insects, fruits, seeds, and grains.

These birds are excellent fliers and are capable of long-distance migration. They are known to travel significant distances during certain times of the year in search of food and nesting sites.

Midwestern starling birds are adaptable, widely distributed birds that can be found in various habitats throughout the United States. They exhibit social behavior and have a diverse diet. Their ability to migrate allows them to expand their distribution beyond the Midwest.

Behavior and Vocalization of Midwestern Starling Birds

Midwestern Starling birds are known for their fascinating behavior and vocalizations. They engage in various activities and communicate through distinct sounds.


  1. Midwestern Starling birds are highly social creatures, forming large flocks that can consist of thousands of individuals.
  2. They are excellent fliers, able to perform intricate aerial displays such as synchronized flying patterns and murmurations.
  3. These birds are opportunistic feeders, foraging for a variety of food sources including insects, berries, and seeds.
  4. Midwestern Starlings also have a unique behavior known as “anting” where they rub ants on their feathers, which is believed to help control parasites.
  5. They are highly adaptable to urban environments and often nest in tree cavities, buildings, and other man-made structures.


  1. Midwestern Starling birds are known for their diverse range of vocalizations, which include chirps, whistles, chattering, and mimicry of sounds from their surroundings.
  2. Their vocal repertoire is extensive and can include imitations of other bird species, human speech, and even machinery noises.
  3. These vocalizations serve various purposes such as communication within the flock, courtship displays, and warning calls to alert others of potential dangers.

The behavior and vocalization of Midwestern Starling birds showcase their adaptability, social nature, and impressive vocal skills. Understanding their behavior and vocalizations can provide valuable insights into their lives and enhance our appreciation of these unique avian species.

Diet and Feeding Habits of Midwestern Starling Birds

Midwestern starling birds are known for their varied and adaptable diet, as well as their unique feeding habits. These birds are omnivorous, meaning they have the ability to consume both plant matter and insects. The versatility of their feeding habits allows them to thrive in a wide range of environments.

When it comes to plant matter, midwestern starlings have a diverse palate. They can feed on fruits, berries, and seeds, and are capable of consuming an extensive array of fruits, including those from native plants and agricultural crops. In terms of insects, these birds display a particular fondness for beetles, ants, and grasshoppers. They have developed impressive foraging skills and are skilled at probing the soil to find insects and grubs.

However, their diet doesn’t stop there. These resourceful birds are also known to scavenge for food. They have an opportunistic feeding behavior and will readily consume carrion, scraps, and food waste whenever it becomes available. This adaptation allows them to survive even in urban areas where human habitation provides an abundant source of food.

It is important to understand that the diet and feeding habits of midwestern starling birds can vary depending on the availability of food and the time of year. During the breeding season, they may consume more insects to ensure their young receive the necessary protein for growth. These birds are highly adaptable and can switch their diet to accommodate the circumstances they encounter.

Reproduction and Nesting Habits of Midwestern Starling Birds

Midwestern starling birds are known for their unique reproduction and nesting habits. These fascinating birds engage in monogamous relationships during the mating season. In order to attract a female, the male starling displays elaborate courtship behaviors and sings beautiful songs. Once a pair forms a bond, they start constructing their nest.

When it comes to nesting, Midwestern starlings prefer cavities in trees or man-made structures. They are highly adaptive and can easily utilize birdhouses, tree hollows, vents, and chimneys. This flexibility in choosing nest locations allows them to thrive in various habitats throughout the Midwest.

The nesting process involves the female laying a clutch of eggs, typically consisting of 4 to 6 eggs. Both parents take turns incubating the eggs, ensuring their warmth and safety. After an incubation period lasting around 12 to 14 days, the eggs hatch, and the parents collaborate to feed and care for the chicks.

It is important to note that Midwestern starlings are highly adaptable and can have multiple broods within a single breeding season. This adaptability increases their reproductive success and contributes to population growth.

Understanding the reproduction and nesting habits of Midwestern starling birds, including their monogamous relationships, nest construction in cavities, and ability to have multiple broods, provides valuable insight into the behavior and population dynamics of these remarkable birds.

Migration Patterns of Midwestern Starling Birds

The migration patterns of Midwestern starling birds are fascinating. These highly migratory birds, known as Midwestern starlings, travel long distances each year, forming large flocks that usually number in the thousands.

During the spring months, these birds initiate their migration from their wintering grounds in the southern parts of the United States and Mexico. They embark on a northward flight, heading towards the Midwestern states such as Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, and Minnesota.

Upon reaching the Midwestern region, these starlings settle in and breed during the summer months. They construct their nests in trees, fences, and other structures, forming bustling colonies known as roosts. These roosts often contain thousands of starlings, presenting an impressive sight.

As summer comes to a close, these starlings prepare for their fall migration. In late summer or early fall, they begin their journey, returning south to their wintering grounds. They move together in cohesive flocks, demonstrating a phenomenon called murmurations.

Understanding the migration patterns of Midwestern starling birds is crucial for their survival and reproduction. By comprehending these patterns, researchers can improve the protection and conservation measures for these unique and remarkable birds. By preserving their habitats and providing suitable stopover sites, we can ensure the success of their annual migration journey.

Conservation Status of Midwestern Starling Birds

The conservation status of Midwestern starling birds is crucial. The population of Midwestern starling birds in this region remains stable, with a healthy number of individuals. To ensure the protection and well-being of these birds, wildlife conservation organizations actively monitor them. The preservation and restoration of their natural habitats are essential for the conservation of Midwestern starling birds. By supporting their habitat, their population can be sustained. Furthermore, Midwestern starling birds play a crucial role in the ecosystem as they prey on insects and pests, which benefits agricultural practices. They also serve as indicators of a healthy and balanced environment. Conservation initiatives primarily focus on raising awareness about the significance of these birds and encouraging responsible practices to preserve their habitats. Collaboration between researchers, government agencies, and local communities is vital for ensuring the long-term conservation of Midwestern starling birds. By actively protecting their habitats and promoting sustainable practices, we can contribute to the conservation and well-being of Midwestern starling birds.

Some Facts About What Does A Midwestern Starling Bird Look Like:

  • ✅ The Midwestern starling bird is common and widely distributed across the Midwestern region of the United States. (Source: Our Team)
  • ✅ It has glossy black plumage with a metallic sheen and is about 20 cm long. (Source: Our Team)
  • ✅ The legs of the Midwestern starling bird are pink and the bill is black in winter and yellow in summer. (Source: Our Team)
  • ✅ The Midwestern starling bird has a varied song and is known for its mimicry abilities. (Source: Our Team)
  • ✅ The Midwestern starling bird builds untidy nests and lays pale blue eggs. (Source: Our Team)

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a midwestern starling bird look like?

A midwestern starling bird, specifically the European starling (Sturnus vulgaris), is a medium-sized passerine bird with a stocky build. It has glossy black plumage with a metallic sheen, and it measures about 20 cm in length. The bird has pink legs and a bill that is black in winter and yellow in summer. In the summer, it displays iridescent green feathers, while in the winter, it has white spots.

What is the song of a midwestern starling like?

The midwestern starling has a varied but unmusical song. This noisy bird has a gift for mimicry, and it can imitate the sounds of other birds and even human noises. It can produce a wide range of calls, clicks, and whistles.

Where can midwestern starlings be found?

Midwestern starlings, or European starlings, are primarily found in Europe, southwestern Asia, and parts of the Middle East. In North America, they are an invasive species and can be found across the continent. They prefer urban areas such as cities, suburbs, parks, and farms, but they are scarce in wild forests and rural areas.

What are the nesting habits of midwestern starlings?

Midwestern starlings, like other starling species, build untidy nests and can evict native bird species from cavities of trees, buildings, and utility poles. They can also nest under eaves, in gutters, vents, and attics. Their nests can be found in communal roosts and are often made of grass, twigs, and other materials.

Are midwestern starlings considered pests?

Yes, midwestern starlings are considered pests due to several reasons. They are known to carry and spread pathogens that cause diseases such as influenza, histoplasmosis, and cryptococcosis. Additionally, their noise can be disruptive, and their excrement can accumulate to dangerous levels in infested attics. They also compete with native birds for nesting sites.

How can I prevent midwestern starlings from entering my home?

To prevent midwestern starlings from entering your home, you can take several measures. Sealing cracks and screening windows can help keep them out. Installing netting on eaves and porches can prevent nesting. If you have a starling infestation, it is recommended to seek assistance from trained wildlife specialists such as Critter Control, who offer services for wildlife or pest issues through their local offices.

Julian Goldie - Owner of ChiperBirds.com

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.