European Starling
Sturnus vulgaris


Pictures property of Fernbank Science Center

Field Marks
  • Pointed bill-yellow for most of year, dark in fall
  • Black plumage with green and purple iridescence
  • White spots scattered about head and body
  • Pointed wings
  • Short, square tail


During breeding season, starlings require holes for nesting, as well as open fields for feeding. The usual nesting sites are holes and crevices in trees, buildings, and rooftops. Starlings also plunder other birds' nests and use them as their own. 


European starlings are non-native birds that are displacing native cavity-nesting birds.  They are commonly seen in large flocks in suburban and rural areas.