The starling is one of the more common garden birds in the UK, often to be found in huge roosts in city centres. Find out more about the starling in our wild bird library.
The starling is a noisy and gregarious visitor to many gardens, and spends a lot of the year in large flocks. Even though it’s still a common sight in gardens, its population has, like so many other species, declined dramatically in recent years.
The dark plumage becomes increasingly iridescent as winter draws to an end – though young birds have an unusual grey-brown colouration that often confuses inexperienced birdwatchers.
Starlings have been known to pick up and imitate sounds from their environment, such as car alarms.
Male starlings will build a nest from grass - often in a hole in a tree or wall. The female will then line it with moss and feathers.
The male and female both help incubate the eggs, and both adults feed the young once the eggs have hatched.
Starlings will eat a wide range of foods, including insects, worms, berries or suet. However, the young are fed mainly on insects.
They’ll happily eat almost anything from a bird feeder or bird table – often in quite large numbers.