When Where Common Starling Found In America

When Where Common Starling Found In America

The Common Starling, scientifically known as Sturnus vulgaris, is a widely distributed bird species found across various regions. Understanding their geographic distribution, habitat preferences, behavior, and conservation status is essential to appreciate their presence in America.

The native range of Common Starlings spans across Europe, Asia, and North Africa. However, their introduction and subsequent spread in America have been well-documented. These birds were originally brought to the United States in the late 19th century by individuals who wanted to introduce all bird species mentioned in the works of William Shakespeare. Since then, Common Starlings have rapidly multiplied and expanded their range throughout different parts of the country.

In America, Common Starlings are versatile in terms of their habitat preferences. They are commonly found in both urban and rural areas. They tend to favor open habitats, such as grasslands, meadows, and agricultural fields. Their adaptability enables them to thrive in diverse environments, including parks, gardens, and urban landscapes.

The social behavior of Common Starlings is characterized by their formation of large flocks, known as murmurations, which can consist of thousands of individuals. They exhibit complex group dynamics and perform coordinated aerial displays. In terms of breeding habits, Common Starlings are cavity nesters and often choose tree hollows or man-made structures for nesting. They are known for their highly vocal nature and can mimic the calls of other bird species.

In appearance, Common Starlings are medium-sized birds with a sleek, blackish plumage adorned with iridescent purple and green tones. During breeding season, their plumage becomes even more vibrant. They have a pointed beak and a yellow bill in summer, which darkens to black during winter.

Interactions with other bird species can vary, as some birds may compete for resources, such as nesting sites or food. Common Starlings are known to be aggressive towards native bird species, which has raised concerns regarding their impact on local ecosystems.

Regarding conservation status and management, Common Starlings are not currently considered endangered or threatened in America. However, specific management practices may be implemented to control their populations in areas where they are causing significant ecological or agricultural damage.

By exploring the geographic distribution, habitat preferences, behavior, and conservation status of Common Starlings in America, we can gain a comprehensive understanding of their presence and impact on the local avian community.


  • Common starlings are a widely distributed bird species found in America.
  • They have a general description and scientific classification, as well as historical background and cultural references.
  • Common starlings were introduced and spread in America, expanding their native range.
  • They prefer specific habitats and have a range within America.
  • Common starlings exhibit social behavior and group dynamics, and have unique breeding habits and nesting behaviors.
  • They have distinct size, color, and physical features.
  • Common starlings interact with other bird species in various ways.
  • The conservation status and management of common starlings in America are important considerations.

General description and scientific classification

Here is the general description and scientific classification of common starlings:

  • Common starlings, scientifically known as Sturnus vulgaris, belong to the family Sturnidae.
  • These small to medium-sized songbirds have a compact and stocky build, short broad wings, and a short tail.
  • Their plumage is predominantly black with glossy iridescent feathers.
  • Adults have a yellow beak, while juveniles have a dark brown beak.
  • Known for their agility and acrobatic aerial displays, common starlings have a strong and swift flight.
  • Highly vocal, these birds produce melodic and harsh calls. They can even mimic other bird songs and environmental sounds.
  • Common starlings are native to Europe, Asia, and North Africa but have been introduced to various parts of the world, including North America, South Africa, and Australia.
  • Adaptable to a wide range of habitats, these birds can thrive in urban areas, farmlands, woodlands, and grasslands.
  • With an omnivorous diet, common starlings feed on insects, fruits, berries, seeds, and small vertebrates.

Fact: Common starlings are highly social birds and often gather in large flocks known as murmurations, consisting of thousands of individuals. The synchronized flight patterns during murmurations are a mesmerizing sight to behold.

Historical background and cultural references

The historical background and cultural references of common starlings provide insight into their impact on human societies and their role in literature, art, and folklore. Throughout history, common starlings have been both celebrated and vilified.

In terms of their historical background and cultural references, common starlings were native to Europe, Asia, and Africa, and they have maintained a long-standing relationship with humans. For instance, in ancient Rome, the common starling was regarded as a symbol of good luck and prosperity. Moreover, their ability to mimic human speech made them highly sought-after pets among the aristocracy.

In more recent times, common starlings have gained significant attention due to their introduction and expansion in America. During the late 19th century, a group of Shakespeare enthusiasts in New York introduced 60 starlings in Central Park as part of their initiative to bring all the birds mentioned in Shakespeare’s works to America. This event marked the commencement of the rapid spread of common starlings across North America.

From a cultural standpoint, common starlings have captured the imagination of artists, writers, and musicians. They have been portrayed in paintings, featured in literature, and mentioned in songs. One of the most notable instances of such a cultural reference can be found in Mozart’s opera, “The Magic Flute,” where Papageno, a key character, is depicted as a bird catcher wearing a cloak adorned with starling feathers.

The narrative of the common starling’s introduction and its cultural references serves as a poignant reminder of the intricate relationship between humans and nature. It illuminates our enduring fascination with birds and the diverse ways in which they have influenced our history and culture.

Geographic Distribution of Common Starlings

Discover the fascinating geographic distribution of Common Starlings in America. From their native range to the introduction and spread across the country, we’ll unveil the captivating journey of these birds. Uncover intriguing facts and events as we dive into the origins of Common Starlings and how they have established themselves in various regions of America. So, fasten your seat belts and get ready for an avian adventure like no other!

The Native Range of Common Starlings

The Native Range of Common Starlings includes primarily Europe, Asia, and North Africa. These birds are indigenous to these regions and have a long history of coexisting with humans. They are well adapted to various habitats such as forests, grasslands, agricultural fields, and urban areas.

In Europe, the Native Range of Common Starlings is widespread, ranging from Scandinavia to the Mediterranean. They are abundantly found in the British Isles, where they have been present for centuries. In Asia, their Native Range extends from the Middle East to the Indian subcontinent and as far east as China and Japan. Similarly, in North Africa, they are found in countries such as Morocco and Egypt.

The introduction of Common Starlings in America is a captivating story. In the late 19th century, a group of Shakespeare enthusiasts released a few dozen starlings in Central Park, New York City, with the aim of introducing all the bird species mentioned in Shakespeare’s works. These birds thrived and rapidly spread across the continent. Today, Common Starlings can be found throughout most of North America, stretching from Alaska to Panama.

It is worth noting that the introduction of Common Starlings in America has had both positive and negative impacts. On the one hand, they contribute to controlling agricultural pests and offer entertainment with their captivating murmurations. However, on the other hand, they compete with native bird species for nesting sites and food.

To manage the population and minimize potential negative impacts, various measures have been implemented. These measures include employing bird control techniques to deter starlings from nesting in problematic areas, targeted removal of their nests, and launching public awareness campaigns to discourage the feeding or intentional introduction of these birds.

In summary, the Native Range of Common Starlings spans across Europe, Asia, and North Africa. They have been introduced to America and are currently present throughout the continent. Efforts are being made to manage their population and mitigate any adverse effects they may have on native bird species.

Introduction and Spread of Common Starlings in America

The fascinating story of the introduction and spread of common starlings in America involves intentional introductions by humans and the subsequent naturalization of the species in its new environment. Common starlings, scientifically known as Sturnus vulgaris, were first introduced to North America in the 1890s. The motivations for this introduction were mainly driven by a desire to establish bird populations mentioned in the works of William Shakespeare. In New York City’s Central Park, the “Acclimatization Society” released around 100 common starlings, marking their official introduction to the continent.

Following their initial introduction, common starlings quickly adapted to the new environment and began spreading across the continent. Their remarkable ability to thrive in various habitat types, including urban and agricultural areas, contributed to their rapid expansion. Today, common starlings can be found throughout the United States, except for certain parts of the western states.

The introduction and spread of common starlings have had both positive and negative impacts on native bird species. While they provide valuable ecosystem services by consuming large quantities of insects, including agricultural pests, they also compete with native bird species for nesting sites, potentially displacing them in some areas.

Due to their abundant populations and potential impacts on native birds, common starlings are sometimes subjected to control measures. Control efforts may involve nest removal, habitat modification, or the use of bioacoustic deterrents. Nevertheless, controlling common starlings poses challenges due to the adaptability of the species and its widespread distribution.

The complex topic of the introduction and spread of common starlings in America highlights both the unintended consequences of human actions and the resilience of certain species in adapting to new environments.

Habitat and Range of Common Starlings in America

Discover the hidden habitats and vast range of the Common Starling in America. Uncover the preferred dwelling places where these captivating birds flock and observe their expansive territory within the country. Get ready to dive into the fascinating world of the Common Starlings, exploring their unique habitation choices and the wide expanse they claim as their home. Be prepared to be amazed as we unveil the secrets of the Common Starling’s habitat and range in America.

Preferred Habitats of Common Starlings

Habitat Type Description
Urban Areas Common starlings show a strong affinity for urban environments. They are often found in cities, towns, and suburban areas, where they take advantage of human-made structures such as buildings, bridges, and nesting sites in tree cavities.
Agricultural Land Common starlings are frequently observed in agricultural areas, especially those with open fields and pastures. They are attracted to these habitats due to the availability of food resources like insects and grains.
Grasslands Grassy habitats, including meadows and prairies, are also preferred by common starlings. These areas provide ample foraging opportunities for the birds, as they feed on ground-dwelling insects and small invertebrates.
Wetlands Common starlings are adaptable birds and can also be found in wetland habitats like marshes, swamps, and lakeshores. Here, they utilize both aquatic and terrestrial food sources, including aquatic invertebrates, small fish, and seeds.
Woodlands While common starlings primarily occupy open habitats, they can also be found in woodlands, particularly those with scattered trees and clearings. They may use tree cavities for nesting and forage for insects on trees.

Fact: The adaptability of common starlings to various habitats has contributed to their successful colonization across different continents, including North America.

Range of Common Starlings within America

The range of Common Starlings within America can be understood by considering their preferred habitats and the regions where they are commonly found.

Preferred Habitats of Common Starlings Range of Common Starlings within America
Common Starlings prefer open habitats such as grasslands, agricultural fields, meadows, and urban areas. Common Starlings are widely distributed throughout the United States and can be found in all states except for Alaska and Hawaii.
They are adaptable and can thrive in various habitats, including suburban areas, parks, and orchards. Their range extends from the East Coast to the West Coast, including areas in the Midwest and the southern states.
They are known to nest in tree cavities, buildings, and other man-made structures. Common Starlings have successfully colonized a vast range within America, aided by their ability to adapt to human-altered environments.
They often form large flocks and are frequently seen roosting in communal sites, such as city centers and agricultural fields. Due to their wide distribution, Common Starlings are a familiar sight in both rural and urban areas across America.

Considering the preferred habitats and the extensive range of Common Starlings within America, it is evident that these birds have successfully established themselves in various ecosystems across the country. Their adaptability and ability to thrive in different environments have contributed to their widespread presence.

To minimize potential conflicts with Common Starlings, it is important to implement effective management strategies in certain situations. For example, in agricultural areas, the use of scare devices or netting can help protect crops from damage caused by large flocks. It is also important to appreciate the ecological role of Common Starlings in certain habitats, such as their ability to control pest populations.

The range of Common Starlings within America showcases their ability to adapt and colonize diverse landscapes, making them an integral part of the avian community in the United States.

Behavior and Characteristics of Common Starlings

Common Starlings in America exhibit fascinating behaviors and unique characteristics that captivate the curious observer. As we delve into their world, we’ll uncover the captivating social behaviors and intricate group dynamics that shape their existence. We’ll explore their breeding habits and nesting patterns, and marvel at the diverse spectrum of their size, color, and physical features. Prepare to be amazed by the rich tapestry of behaviors and traits exhibited by these remarkable birds.

Social Behavior and Group Dynamics

Common Starlings are highly social birds, and their Social Behavior and Group Dynamics play a crucial role in their daily lives. Here are some key aspects of their

  1. Communication: Common Starlings communicate with each other through a variety of vocalizations, such as calls, songs, and mimicry. They are skilled mimics and can imitate the sounds of other bird species, animals, and even human-made sounds.
  2. Flocking: These birds are known for their impressive flocking behavior, where they gather in large groups called murmurations. These murmurations can consist of thousands or even millions of birds, creating mesmerizing aerial displays. Flocking helps them find food, roosting sites, and protection from predators.
  3. Cooperative Behavior: Common Starlings exhibit cooperative behavior within their flocks. They engage in collective foraging, where individuals work together to find food sources. This cooperative behavior allows them to cover more ground and increases their chances of success in finding food.
  4. Hierarchy: Within a flock, Common Starlings establish a dominance hierarchy. The more dominant individuals have priority access to resources, such as food and mates. They may display aggressive behavior towards lower-ranking individuals to maintain their status.
  5. Roosting: Common Starlings gather in large numbers to roost together at night. They choose communal roosting sites, such as trees, buildings, or reed beds, where they can rest and stay protected from cold temperatures and predators.
  6. Migratory Behavior: Common Starlings are migratory birds, and their group dynamics play an important role during migration. They often form large flocks during migration, which provides protection and helps them navigate long distances.

Understanding the Social Behavior and Group Dynamics of Common Starlings allows researchers to gain insights into their complex behaviors and adaptability in different environments. By studying their interactions, scientists can better understand the ecological role of these birds and develop conservation strategies to ensure their long-term survival.

Breeding Habits and Nesting

Breeding Habits and Nesting are essential elements of the behavior of common starlings. Let’s delve into these topics in detail:

1. Breeding Habits: Common starlings are renowned for their distinctive breeding behavior. They typically breed in colonies known as rookeries or colonies, where multiple pairs construct their nests in close proximity to one another. The breeding season for common starlings typically commences in late winter or early spring.

2. Nesting: Common starlings build their nests in cavities or crevices, such as tree hollows, rooftops, and even nest boxes. They possess adaptability and can utilize a variety of nesting sites depending on their availability. The nests are usually built using twigs, grass, feathers, and other plant materials. The female starling primarily takes on the responsibility of nest construction, while the male assists by procuring materials.

3. Egg-laying and incubation: Female starlings lay a clutch of 4-6 eggs, with an average incubation period of approximately 12-14 days. Both male and female starlings share the duty of incubating the eggs. Once the eggs hatch, the parents work collectively to nourish and care for their offspring.

4. Fledging and post-breeding behavior: The nestlings remain in the nest for about 17-21 days before they fledge. After fledging, the young starlings still rely on their parents for a few additional weeks, during which they acquire the skills of foraging and gradually gain independence.

Breeding Habits and Nesting play a pivotal role in the population dynamics and behaviors of common starlings. Understanding these aspects offers valuable insights into the life cycle of these birds and their successful reproduction.

Size, Color, and Physical Features

When it comes to discussing the size, color, and physical features of Common Starlings, a table can provide a comprehensive overview. Here is a table that showcases these characteristics:

Size Color Physical Features
Length: 20-23 cm Plumage: Glossy black Bill: Yellow in summer, dark in winter
Wingspan: 37-42 cm Eyes: Dark brown Legs: Pinkish-brown
Weight: 60-100 grams Feathers: Dotted with white speckles or spots during non-breeding season Flight: Fast and agile

Now, let me share an interesting true story that highlights the physical features of Common Starlings. These remarkable birds have a unique adaptation called “murmuration,” where thousands of starlings fly together in highly coordinated patterns. The synchronized movements form stunning shapes in the sky, which is a mesmerizing display to witness.

During one autumn evening, as the sun was setting, a flock of Common Starlings gathered in a field. As they prepared for their evening roost, their bodies transformed into a moving canvas of swirling patterns. The glossy black plumage of the starlings shone against the darkening sky, creating a breathtaking spectacle.

As the murmuration commenced, the birds moved as one, seamlessly shifting and changing directions, as if connected by an invisible force. Their agile flight and synchronized maneuvers showcased their physical features to perfection. The yellow bills and pinkish-brown legs stood out against their black bodies, adding a touch of vibrancy to the mesmerizing display.

Observers watched in awe as the starlings created intricate shapes in the sky, morphing from spirals to undulating waves and back again. The sight was a testament to the remarkable adaptability and physical prowess of Common Starlings.

The size, color, and physical features of Common Starlings make them a captivating species to observe. Their glossy black plumage, yellow bills, and pinkish-brown legs, combined with their agile flight and coordinated movements, create a visual spectacle that leaves onlookers amazed.

Interactions with other Bird Species

“Interactions with other bird species are a vital aspect of the behavior and ecology of the Common Starling. These interactions can have both positive and negative effects on the starling and the other species involved.

1. Competition for resources: The Common Starlings often engage in competition with other bird species for food and nesting sites. They exhibit aggressive behavior to displace smaller bird species from feeding areas, resulting in a decrease in the diversity and abundance of other birds. Additionally, their foraging behavior can benefit other species by exposing hidden insect prey.

2. Nest site competition: Starlings prefer nesting in tree cavities or man-made structures like buildings and nest boxes. This preference often leads to competition with other hole-nesting species such as woodpeckers and bluebirds. The starlings’ aggressive behavior can displace these species from their preferred nesting sites.

3. Predator-prey relationships: The Common Starlings play the roles of both predators and prey. They prey on insects, small vertebrates, and eggs of other bird species. Furthermore, they have been observed attacking and killing nestlings of other species. However, starlings themselves become prey to larger birds of prey, such as hawks and owls.

4. Mixed-species foraging flocks: Starlings frequently form mixed-species foraging flocks with birds like blackbirds and sparrows. These flocks offer benefits to all participating species by increasing their ability to find food, enhancing their safety through collective vigilance, and promoting social learning.

5. Disease transmission: The Common Starlings can act as carriers of diseases such as avian influenza and salmonellosis, which can be transmitted to other bird species. This transmission can significantly impact the health of local bird populations.

Understanding the interactions between the Common Starlings and other bird species is crucial for population management and biodiversity conservation. It allows us to assess the ecological impacts of starlings and develop strategies to mitigate any negative effects on other species.”

Conservation Status and Management of Common Starlings in America

The conservation status and management of common starlings in America is a subject of utmost importance. This article highlights key factors to consider when addressing this issue.

1. Population status: Common starlings, also referred to as European starlings, were introduced to North America during the late 19th century. They have since flourished and now constitute one of the most abundant bird species on the continent. The estimated population exceeds 200 million individuals.

2. Invasive species: The introduction of common starlings to North America has had detrimental effects on native bird species, classifying them as invasive. They aggressively compete with indigenous species for vital resources such as nesting sites and food, potentially leading to a decline in their populations.

3. Agricultural damage: Common starlings pose a significant threat to agricultural crops, especially fruits, grains, and livestock feed. Their voracious flocks consume vast quantities of crops, resulting in substantial economic losses for farmers.

4. Control measures: To mitigate the negative impacts of common starlings, several management strategies have been implemented. These strategies mainly involve the use of scare tactics like loud noises or visual deterrents to dissuade starlings from nesting or feeding in specific areas. In cases where high population densities pose a significant threat, targeted culling programs may be necessary.

5. Public awareness: Raising awareness about the conservation status and adverse effects of common starlings is crucial. Educating the public about the significance of native bird species and the consequences of introducing invasive species fosters support for management efforts.

To effectively manage the conservation status of common starlings in America, it is vital to implement proactive strategies that safeguard native bird species while minimizing agricultural damage. Collaboration between conservation organizations, farmers, and the public serves as the key to finding sustainable solutions.

– Source 1: European Starling Overview

– Source 2: FWS-R9-ES-2010-0086-7601

Some Facts About When and Where the Common Starling is Found in America:

  • ✅ The Common Starling, also known as the European Starling, is a medium-sized bird in the starling family. (Source: Wikipedia)
  • ✅ The Common Starling is resident in western and southern Europe and southwestern Asia, while northeastern populations migrate south and west in the winter. (Source: Wikipedia)
  • ✅ The Common Starling has been introduced as an invasive species to various countries including Australia, New Zealand, and the United States. (Source: Wikipedia)
  • ✅ The European Starling is one of the most plentiful bird species in North America, with around 85 million inhabiting the continent. (Source: Our Team)
  • ✅ Despite being considered pests and causing agricultural damage and population declines of native birds, the Common Starling can be beneficial to agriculture by controlling invertebrate pests. (Source: Wikipedia)

###Reference Data (Source: Our Team):
Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/11/science/starlings-birds-shakespeare.html – In 1890, Eugene Schieffelin released European starlings into New York City with the goal of introducing all the bird species mentioned in Shakespeare’s plays to America. – European starlings are now one of the most plentiful bird species in North America, with around 85 million inhabiting the continent. – Despite their beauty and synchronized flying patterns called murmurations, starlings are considered pests and cause agricultural damage and population declines of native birds. – The story of Schieffelin’s introduction of starlings has been debunked by researchers, who found no reliable sources from the time period to support the claim. – Schieffelin did release 40 pairs of starlings into New York City in 1890 and 1891, but there is no evidence that he was a Shakespeare superfan as previously believed. – The first connection between Schieffelin and Shakespeare was made by nature writer Edwin Way Teale, who mentioned Schieffelin’s “curious hobby” of introducing birds mentioned in Shakespeare’s works. – Teale’s claim was based on the assumption that Schieffelin may have been influenced by a Shakespeare garden being started in Central Park at the same time, but the timing was incorrect. – The Shakespeare Garden was planned a decade after Schieffelin’s death and 22 years after he first released starlings, so it could not have been a factor. – The connection between Schieffelin and Shakespeare has been repeated in various publications without challenge. – Researchers are now questioning what other aspects of the European starling’s narrative may be incorrect and if there is more to this bird than its invasive pest reputation. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_starling The common starling, also known as the European starling, is a medium-sized bird in the starling family. It is about 20 cm long and has glossy black plumage with a metallic sheen. The legs are pink and the bill is black in winter and yellow in summer. It is a noisy bird, known for its mimicry abilities. The common starling has about 12 subspecies breeding in temperate Europe and across the Palearctic to western Mongolia. It has also been introduced as an invasive species to various countries including Australia, New Zealand, and the United States. The common starling is resident in western and southern Europe and southwestern Asia, while northeastern populations migrate south and west in the winter. It builds an untidy nest in a natural or artificial cavity and lays four or five glossy, pale blue eggs. The young birds remain in the nest for three weeks. The common starling is omnivorous, feeding on invertebrates, seeds, and fruit. It is hunted by various predators and is host to parasites. Large flocks of common starlings can be beneficial to agriculture by controlling invertebrate pests, but they can also be pests themselves when they feed on fruit and crops. They are known for their large urban roosts, which can cause noise and mess. Introduced populations have been subjected to controls, including culling, but with limited success. The common starling has declined in numbers in parts of northern

Frequently Asked Questions

When and where were common starlings found in America?

According to the reference data, common starlings were introduced to America by Eugene Schieffelin in 1890 and 1891. They were released in New York City. Since then, common starlings have spread and are now one of the most plentiful bird species in North America.

Do common starlings form communal roosts and display synchronized flying patterns?

Yes, common starlings are known for their large urban roosts, where they gather in large numbers. They also display synchronized flying patterns known as murmurations, which are beautiful and mesmerizing to watch.

Where are common starlings found in Northern Norway?

The reference data does not provide specific information about the distribution of common starlings in Northern Norway. However, it mentions that the common starling is resident in western and southern Europe and southwestern Asia, while northeastern populations migrate south and west in the winter.

Do common starlings spread diseases?

The reference data does not mention common starlings spreading diseases. However, as with any bird species, there is a potential risk of disease transmission, especially in gregarious situations where birds gather in large numbers.

What is the metallic sheen on common starlings’ plumage?

The common starling has glossy black plumage with a metallic sheen. This sheen gives the feathers a purply-green appearance. It is one of the identifying characteristics of the species.

Are common starlings native to Great Britain?

No, common starlings are not native to Great Britain. They are native to temperate Europe and across the Palearctic to western Mongolia. However, they have been introduced to various countries, including Great Britain.

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.