This bird needs little introduction since it breeds over much of Europe and into temperate West Asia - and as an introduction over North America, South Africa, SE Australia and New Zealand. Many populations are migratory and it forms huge flocks to go to communal roosts - many millions in some cases.
It has a glossy black and streaked plumage shot with purple and green. In the breeding season males have blue bases to their yellow bills, females pink. The song consists of chuckles and wheeze together with very good imitations of other birds and even street noises.
Shows little fear of man and is very resourceful at exploiting available food supplies. In some areas cattle are fed at night to stop the Starlings eating the food! Numbers are in decline because of pesticides killing the food for the nestlings - 1,500,000 or more territories in Britain and Ireland.
Pretty well ubiquitous.
Length 215 mm Closed wing 130 mm Weight 80 gms
A Bird On! Sketch by Chris Mead
Copyright © 1996 by Jacobi Jayne & Company and Chris Mead