The starling bird’s scientific name is Sturnus vulgaris and they belong to the starling family.
They are quite a character with lovely singing voices. If one understands their behavior to a good degree they may learn to appreciate them for the quirky characters that they are. People who know their behavioral traits have come to love and even encourage starlings to come live in their gardens when they are in town. However, one cannot blame those who would not want to see them in their gardens during summer months because they can be noisy and raucous birds.
What do starlings look like?
In terms of size, they are smaller than blackbirds with a pointed head and short tail. Their wing shape is triangular wings. Their bodies may appear black if seen from a distant but a closer glance reveals their body feathers are very glossy with a sheen of greens and purples.
What do they feed on
The starling will descend to feed on the ground on unhusked grains and invertebrates. During the summer, the mainly feed on worms while in the winter months they will switch to berries and fruit. As the seasons overlap into each other the starling will feed on a mixture of both depending on what is readily available. Some homes have taken to inviting the starling bird into their home garden by hanging food stations around the house and in the garden. In case one is wondering what they can put on a mesh feeder to attract the Sterling to their garden, balls, pellets or blocks will do as well peanuts in mesh feeders. Sunflower seeds are not the best choice for starlings as they often are unable to remove the husk.
Since the populations of starling have dwindled immensely, the bird family has been red listed. Concerned sympathizers have taken to welcoming this amazing bird in the summer and help in feeding them by availing mesh feeders full of bird food in their garden to help the birds survive and hopefully eventually recover their former numbers.
Starling birds are quite the entertainers
Over and above singing beautifully, starlings have the ability to imitate other common birds. Part of their adaptation is quick and frenzied communal feeding. They will hog a food station and eat voraciously with bewildering speed. This can be misconstrued for gluttony, but it’s not, because of their numbers, they often feed very quickly to ensure that each bird gets a share. If one has this knowledge they will tend to love the birds as opposed to finding their manners undesirable.
Perhaps one of the amazing spectacles of the sky is watching hundreds, thousands and in some cases millions of starling birds come to roosts in plantations, reed beds and city centers. Starlings are perhaps better known for their grand aerial displays of moving as a block of one wave in the skies forming shapes and random patterns with amazing unison. This sky dance is called murmarization. Their ability to move in such high numbers as a unit is truly mesmerizing. I
Unfortunately the population of these amazing birds has been on the decline, adopting the cause to help them survive is noble. Inviting them to your garden, feeding them during the summer is small way to help them stay alive and hopefully revert to their former or even bigger populations. The good news is that even with dropping population of this amazing bird, there are still about 800,000 breeding pairs of starlings in the UK.