Common Bird Species of Northwestern Ontario





Sturnus vulgaris
European Starling


Distinguishing Features - Black with purplish and greenish reflections. Tail, short, square; bill, yellow, long; legs reddy-brown. From late-summer to winter, the plumage becomes white-spotted as in the accompanying photo. Male and female indistinguishable but female is slightly smaller.

Starling Size - 19 - 21 cm (7.5 - 8.5 in).


Varied. Frequents enhabited areas.


In natural cavities in trees or woodpecker holes, in bird boxes, or in building crevices. Nest of sticks, grass and weeds fill the crevice; lined with grass, feathers and other soft materials. Eggs, usually 4 - 6; pale blue or greeny-white. Incubation period 11 - 14 days.


The Starling was introduced to North America from Europe in the late-1800s. Since that time it has spread over much of the continent and its range is still growing. Although its foraging habits are mostly beneficial, consisting of insects, it has an appetite for small fruits, often causing serious damage to orchards.

Its song is a procession of whistles, chirps and warbles.

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