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Help & Reference : Learn About Nature : Reference Guide : Birds : Starling


Common name: Starling

Also known as: European Starling or Common Starling
Scientific name: Sturnus vulgaris
Size: 19-22cm long, wingspan of 37-42cm
Weight: 60-90g
Colour: Shiny black background with glossy purple and green plus spotted with white. From a distance they just look black.
Life span: Not known. Probably no more than a couple of years.


Slightly smaller than a blackbird, the starling is a gregarious (likes to be with others) and forms into huge flocks in the autumn/winter. They have a short tail, pointed head and beak and triangular wings. Their flight is fast, and they walk well on the ground. They are very noisy.


Widespread in the UK. Very large flocks are found in certain parts of the country, especially near plantations, reed beds and cities. In Corfe Mullen there is a small roosting flock in a bamboo hedge in South Road, which fly in most evenings.


Insects, fruit and practically anything else you throw onto your lawn!


Often found in areas with some space (eg open fields) but can also be found in gardens, parks, hedges and woodland.

Did you know

They will even eat parasites from the back of sheep.









Extra Information

Royal Society for the
Protection of Birds (RSPB)