where are european starling from

European starlings, or Sturnus vulgaris, are smart birds that have spread across the world. They are renowned for their synchronized sky displays called murmurations. These birds possess captivating vocal abilities and beautiful plumage, which has charmed people globally.

Eugene Scheiffelin, a member of the American Acclimatization Society, wanted to introduce all bird species mentioned in Shakespeare’s works to North America. Thus, he released batches of starlings into New York City between 1890 and 1891.

Unfortunately, this act unleashed an ecological imbalance on the continent. The starlings’ population rapidly grew, taking away resources from native species. The exact reasons behind their dispersal still remain a mystery.

Background on European Starlings

European Starlings, scientifically known as Sturnus vulgaris, have an interesting past. These birds were originally from Europe. In the 19th century, an eccentric Shakespeare fan, Eugene Schieffelin, released 60 European Starlings in New York City’s Central Park. He wanted to populate North America with all the bird species ever mentioned in William Shakespeare’s plays.

The introduction of European Starlings had an unexpected result. They multiplied quickly due to their adaptability and ability to live near humans. Now, they can be found across most of North America, where they thrive. They have colonized many different habitats – ranging from cities to agricultural lands.

European Starlings have an impressive ability: they can copy sounds, like other bird calls and human speech. This remarkable skill adds to the mystery around these birds.

European Starlings have some captivating stories. In winter, large groups of starlings form incredible aerial displays called “murmurations”. The sky is filled with swirling shapes that amaze both scientists and onlookers. These natural wonders remind us of the complexity and beauty of our ecosystem.

Habitat and Range of European Starlings

European Starlings, scientifically known as Sturnus vulgaris, are native to Europe and western Asia. They can now be found in North America, Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. Their habitat adaptability is remarkable. A table can show their presence in different regions. For example, Europe is native with a stable status, while North America, Africa, and Australia are introduced with expanding or established status.

These birds are social, forming large flocks and communicating vocally. They have glossy black feathers with purple-greenish highlights. Their diet consists of insects, fruits, seeds, and grains.

Interestingly, European Starlings’ introduction to North America was unintentional. The American Acclimatization Society tried to introduce all birds mentioned in Shakespeare’s works into Central Park in the late 19th century (Raffaele et al., 1998).

In conclusion, European Starlings have expanded their habitat beyond their native regions. This has resulted in both beneficial ecological impacts and challenges for native species.

European Starlings Migration Patterns

European starlings start migrating in autumn, around September or October. They travel from Europe to Africa, often over the Mediterranean Sea. The birds migrate in huge flocks, sometimes with millions of individuals. When they reach Africa, they spread out into different habitats such as grasslands, woodlands, and even cities.

This bird species has a unique history connected to humans. A Shakespeare enthusiast from the 19th century wanted all the birds mentioned by the playwright to be in the New World, and thus introduced the European starling to North America. This species has become one of the most abundant birds on the continent.

European starling migration patterns demonstrate both the power of nature’s navigation and the impact of humans on faraway ecosystems.

Impacts of European Starlings in North America

European Starlings, from Europe, have had a huge effect on North America. Let’s see an outline of their impacts in the region:

Impacts of European Starlings in North America
Column 1 Column 2 Column 3
Agricultural damage Economic strain Native bird displacement

These starlings cause agricultural harm. This means crops and economics suffer. Also, they are fierce, causing native birds to be displaced.

Apart from this damage, they’re known for their ability to adapt and their amazing vocal skills. Scientists are interested in studying them for this.

A real story shows how they take over and control an area meant for other birds. They do this by taking over resources and nesting sites. This disturbs local ecology and ecosystems.

Management and Control of European Starlings

European starlings can be managed with various strategies. Here are some ideas to deal with these birds:

  1. Take away food sources. Stop them accessing garbage cans or keep livestock feed covered.
  2. Scare them. Hang reflective tape or wind chimes near problem areas.
  3. Modify their habitat. Remove nesting sites like tree cavities and seal off potential entry points around buildings.

In extreme cases, trapping and relocating the birds is needed. Always follow local regulations and guidelines for safety.

These strategies work because they focus on starling behavior or habitat. Removing food stops them finding sustenance. Scare tactics worry them. Habitat modification reduces nesting options. Trapping and relocating removes problem individuals.

By using these strategies together, people can manage and control European starlings without harming them or disturbing the ecosystem.


The European starling, otherwise known as Sturnus vulgaris, is native to Europe, Asia, and North Africa. Eugene Schieffelin brought these birds to North America in the late 19th century.

Since then, they have spread rapidly. In fact, they have become an invasive species in the United States and Canada. Their adaptability and high reproduction rates have enabled them to outcompete native birds for nesting sites and food sources.

This has resulted in environmental and economic damage. Starlings consume large amounts of crops and can disrupt livestock operations.

Despite this, they are an intelligent species and possess remarkable vocalization skills. They are often heard mimicking sounds in human-populated areas.

In short, the introduction of non-native species without proper evaluation or control measures can have a big impact on both ecosystems and human environments – as demonstrated by the European starling.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Where are European starlings from?

European starlings are native to Europe, Asia, and North Africa.

2. How did European starlings come to North America?

European starlings were introduced to North America in the late 19th century when a group of about 100 birds was released in Central Park, New York City.

3. Why were European starlings brought to North America?

European starlings were brought to North America by a group called the American Acclimatization Society, which wanted to introduce all the birds mentioned in the works of William Shakespeare to North America.

4. Are European starlings considered invasive species in North America?

Yes, European starlings are considered an invasive species in North America as they compete with native bird species for food and nesting sites, and their populations have rapidly expanded across the continent.

5. How do European starlings affect native bird populations?

European starlings can negatively affect native bird populations by outcompeting them for nesting cavities, consuming their eggs and young, and displacing them from feeding grounds.

6. Is it legal to control European starling populations in North America?

Yes, it is legal to control European starling populations in North America as they are not protected by federal laws. However, specific regulations may vary from state to state, so it is advisable to consult local wildlife authorities before taking any action.

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.