Murmuration of starlings by Jackie Dent 1/10
Starling by Elizabeth Dack 2/10
Starling in flight by Elizabeth Dack 3/10
Young starling by David Savory 4/10
Young starling by Elizabeth Dack 5/10
Juvenile starlings by Elizabeth Dack 6/10
Starling by Elizabeth Dack 7/10
Starling roost by Brian Macfarlane 8/10
Starling feeding young by Barry Madden 9/10
Starling by Neville Yardy 10/10

Starling Sturnus vulgaris

The striking starling appears, at first glance, to be black all over. Yet, when the sunlight catches it, an iridescent plumage is revealed which shines purple, gold and green. In the winter the plumage gets slightly speckled with white. The starling is also quite partial to mimicking other sounds.

Conservation status

Although still relatively common, starlings appear on the Red List of Birds of conservation Concern as numbers have declined by as much as 70%. They are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 which means it is illegal to intentionally kill or injure a starling. Declines are generally due to loss of habitat for feeding and general intensification of farming.

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Did you know?

Males and females can be distinguished by their beak. The base of their long yellow beak is pink in females and blue in males.

Starlings are great mimics and regularly include the calls of other birds in their repertoire; they have also been recorded mimicking the sounds of mobile phones, wolf whistles and even domestic cats!

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