What Problems Does the Common Starling Cause?

Common starlings have certain issues. They may seem innocuous, but they bring several troubles. These can range from agricultural destruction, to rivaling native bird species.

This bird is famous for its flocks, which can be an impressive sight. However, these flocks often go near farms, eating fruit, grain and insects, causing damage to the farmers’ livelihoods. This also affects the food supply.

Moreover, common starlings compete with other birds for nest sites and food. This leads to a decrease in populations of other birds, upsetting the ecological balance.

A remarkable characteristic of these starlings is their ability to imitate sounds. They are known for their wide vocal range, able to copy car alarms and even human speech. Because of this, they are popular among researchers studying animal communication.

Background on Common Starling

The Common Starling, scientifically known as Sturnus vulgaris, is a truly captivating bird. It has been able to survive in diverse environments across the world. This article will provide an overview of the species’ unique features and some of the issues it can cause.


These birds boast an iridescent plumage with dark feathers and glossy speckles. They have a slim body and pointed wings, and measure about 20 cm.


These birds are very adaptable. They can live in many places, like urban areas, grasslands, woodlands, and meadows. They prefer open spaces where food is plentiful.


The Common Starlings migrate in large flocks called murmurations. This creates stunning patterns in the sky.


During the breeding season, they mainly eat insects like beetles and earthworms. They also consume fruits, grains, and seeds when available. They often search for food in groups, which can lead to competition.

Furthermore, these birds are famous for their vocal talent. They can imitate many sounds, including human speech and other bird calls. This allows them to communicate complex messages.

To address any problems caused by the Common Starling:

  1. Restricting access to nesting sites can limit population growth. Starlings usually breed in tree cavities or man-made structures, such as rooftops.
  2. Introducing preventive measures, like bird netting or spikes, can deter them from gathering in large numbers in certain areas.
  3. Creating diverse habitats that attract other bird species can reduce competition for resources, as fewer starlings will be present.

By following these steps, we can both admire this avian species and avoid any potential negative outcomes.

Problems Caused by Common Starling

Common Starlings can be troublesome due to their invasive behavior. Issues range from agricultural damage to health concerns and economic losses. Let us explore the issues they bring.

  1. Here is a table summarizing the problems Common Starlings cause:

    Problems Caused by Common Starling
    Agricultural Damage
    Ecological Disturbances
    Public Health Concerns
    Economic Losses
  2. Agricultural damage is a major worry. Starlings often raid crops, particularly fruits like cherries and grapes, costing farmers money. Their feeding also messes up livestock operations and farming activities.

  3. They outcompete native birds for food and nesting sites, potentially disrupting ecosystems.

  4. Excessive amounts of droppings in urban areas lead to public health concerns. They can spread diseases, putting humans at risk.

  5. The “Cornell Lab of Ornithology” reports that hundreds of thousands of Common Starlings perform amazing aerial displays called murmurations. These mesmerizing movements, seen at sunset, amaze onlookers.

Measures to Control Common Starling Population

The common starling, famed for its stunning feathers and melodic tune, presents a few difficulties that require efficient solutions to regulate its population.

  • Regulating Nesting Sites: To command the common starling population, it’s imperative to adjust their nesting places. By giving suitable alternative nesting spots away from residential or commercial properties, the effect of their presence can be minimized.
  • Employing Bird Deterrents: Implementing avian deterrents such as visual repellents, sound devices and physical barriers can deter starlings from gathering in certain places. This helps avert damage to crops, buildings and infrastructure.
  • Encouraging Natural Predators: Boosting the presence of natural predators like raptors or introducing non-native species specific to controlling the starling population can be an effective measure. Such natural checks aid conserve a balanced ecosystem.
  • Educational Programs: Increasing understanding among locals about the negative effects of an uncontrolled starling population is significant. Educational programs and campaigns can promote responsible behavior towards these birds while stressing the importance of executing appropriate control actions.

In addition, it should be noted that common starlings present highly adaptable behaviour and have a remarkable capacity for survival. Their capability to promptly form large numbers through reproduction further emphasizes the requirement for prompt action in controlling their population.

A noteworthy example concerns a vineyard owner in California who successfully prevented enormous crop destruction by installing reflective tape alongside his grapevines. The glossy tape served as a visual deterrent and prevented starlings from feeding on the fruit, ultimately protecting the harvest. This practical solution highlights the efficiency of proactive measures when handling common starlings.

Case Studies: Common Starling Problem in Specific Regions

Common starlings are causing trouble in certain regions. Let us investigate some examples of this.

The table below shows the region, problem caused and the impact of it:

Region Problem Impact
North America Crop damage Significant economic losses
Europe Nesting in buildings Structural damages
Australia Displacing native birds Ecological imbalance

Also, when common starlings gather together in large groups, they make a lot of noise which disrupts urban areas.

Tip: To try and reduce the amount of common starlings, it is wise to ask the local authorities for advice on what to do in that particular region.

Future Implications and Solutions

Let’s explore the implications and solutions to the problems caused by the common starling. The table below reveals vital details!

Problem Solutions
Economic impact Implement measures to deter starlings from agricultural areas
Ecological imbalance Develop strategies to restore native bird species habitats
Public health concerns Waste management practices reduce starling infestation near human settlements

Now is the time to take action and help create a future where our ecosystems thrive without the negative impacts of starling invasions. Let’s contribute to a healthier planet for generations to come!


The Common Starling: a fascinating bird species that has succeeded in many regions. It’s notable for its smarts, adaptability, and remarkable vocal talent.

Yet, it brings trouble too. It consumes fruits, grains, and seeds, which harms crops and causes financial losses. Moreover, it likes to form large flocks, creating noise and messiness in urban areas. Plus, its droppings can damage buildings and monuments.

It can even imitate other birds and man-made sounds, such as car alarms or construction noise. This may seem funny, but it can become an issue when it copies sirens or phone ringtones.

Try using visual deterrents like hawk-shaped kites or reflective devices to discourage the Common Starling from roosting.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What problems does the common starling cause?

The common starling can cause several problems, including agricultural damage, property damage, and negative impacts on native bird populations.

2. How does the common starling cause agricultural damage?

Common starlings feed on various crops, such as fruits, grains, and vegetables. They can damage crops by consuming or pecking at them, leading to significant financial losses for farmers.

3. What kind of property damage can the common starling cause?

Common starlings often nest in buildings, particularly in roof spaces and cavities. This can lead to structural damage, as their nesting activities can cause blockages, clogging, and deterioration of building materials.

4. Does the common starling pose a threat to native bird populations?

Yes, the common starling poses a threat to native bird populations. They compete with other bird species for nesting sites and food resources, leading to a decline in native bird populations in certain areas.

5. Are there any health risks associated with common starlings?

While the common starling itself does not pose direct health risks to humans, their droppings can carry bacteria, fungi, and parasites, which can contaminate water sources and potentially cause diseases.

6. How can one control the common starling population?

Controlling the common starling population can be challenging. Some methods include installation of bird netting, deterrent devices such as spikes or scare tactics, and maintaining clean and hygienic surroundings to reduce their attraction to certain areas.

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.