Australian Bush Birds
Common Starling  -  Sturnus vulgaris
Common Starling
Common Starling in post-moulting plumage
map map The Common Starling - Sturnus vulgaris - has brown wings and tail, top of the head is grey, remainder of feathers black. There is a dark patch between eye and beak; the long, pointed bill is dull brown, legs are reddish brown. In autumn, after moulting, the black feathers have buff and white tips and edges giving a speckled appearance overall. By spring and early summer the plumage has worn to black with an iridiscent glossy-green, oily sheen. In breeding adults the bill is yellow. Size is 20 to 22 centimetres. Juveniles are plain grey-brown above, lighter grey beneath with whitish throat and dark bill.

Introduced to Victoria in the late 1850s; later to other eastern states. Climate limitations prevent it spreading much north of Brisbane. Lives in flocks engaging in massed flights, especially in the evening. Feeds on the ground and roosts communally.

Inhabits urban and country areas including woodlands, mallee, mulga, watercourses, roadside tree belts, cleared land, alpine, coastal, parks and gardens. Competes with native birds for nesting hollows.

Migratory and nomadic, common.

Common Starling
Starlings perched in a favoured place on the upper branches of shrubs and trees.