Appearance and behavior. Body length 20–25 cm, wingspan 34–42 cm, weight 60–90 g. The appearance of a bird sitting and walking on the ground is very characteristic due to its dense structure, shortened tail, long sharp straight beak, large strong legs. The flying bird is easily recognizable by the triangular shape of the pointed wings. Unfazed, flies well, walks and runs, holds flocks most of the year.
Description. Sexual dimorphism in color and size is almost not pronounced. In the fresh autumn plumage, adult birds are dotted with thick whitish and ocherous speckles and specks that almost hide the dark color of the hull and wings. The beak is dark, the eyes are pink, the legs are pink-ocher. By the spring, light rims at the ends of the feathers are gradually weary, the feathers themselves sharpen. In the spring, the starling looks almost black with a strong metallic luster - bronze, green, purple, purple. The beak turns yellow (blue dotted at the bottom). In the mating season, spotted in a small number are stored on the back, wings, undertail.
Young birds are brown, with blurred longitudinal pestrinami, dark bridle from beak to the eye, bright throat and blackish beak. Legs dull, greyish-buff. At the end of summer and in autumn, molting young birds with penetrating black and variegated plumage look pejedy. A flying bird has relatively short pointed wings with a bright underside, a long pointed beak, a shortened tail, these signs make it possible to distinguish starlings from other flocking birds of similar size - thrushes and waxwings.
Vote. The song is very diverse, loud, consists of whistling and chirping knees, includes numerous borrowing songs of other birds, as well as imitations of a wide variety of sounds. The singing starling widely opens its beak, bristling feathers on the throat, periodically shakes its half-distended wings. The cry and cry of alarm is a soft murmur. "chrr», «chrrrr". Tears emit squealing, chirping, chirping sounds. In packs behave very noisy.
Distribution, status. It is distributed practically throughout Eurasia from taiga to subtropics, over the past decades it settled east to Transbaikalia, in the north of Europe it reached the forest tundra, and penetrated into forest steppes and semi-deserts along forest belts. In Western and Southern Europe, in the Middle East, the Caucasus occurs throughout the year, migrants from the northern and eastern parts of the range - areas with snowy winters join the local birds. In fewer winters outside the nesting area - in the subtropics and tropics of Africa and Asia.
It was introduced in North America, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, on many islands of Oceania. In European Russia as a whole, it is common, but there are significant fluctuations in numbers, apparently in the past decades, numbers have somewhat decreased. On nesting sites in the middle zone appears from the beginning of March, at the beginning of snowmelt, departure from August to November, some birds remain to winter in the area of snowless winters, as well as in cities in garbage dumps.
Lifestyle. A characteristic form of anthropogenic and mosaic landscapes, settles in settlements, gardens, parks, using birdhouses and emptiness in human buildings. Under natural conditions, it nests in hollows, old burrows of bee-eaters and roller roller in the cliffs. Colonies forms rarely. Invertebrates predominate in the diet, which birds collect mainly on the ground. Earthworms, larvae of beetles digs out of soft soil, collects them in the spring, following the plow on arable land. Often it feeds on lawns right under people's feet. Less frequently he examines crowns or catches insects in the air (for example, accompanying herds of ungulates). In the second half of the summer, eating berries, can cause serious damage to the crop.
Normally monogamous, although there are cases of bigamia. Having chosen a place for nesting, the male actively attracts the female with songs, with the start of incubation his song activity sharply decreases. Sometimes the male starts building a nest without a female, but usually partners build a nest and carry the nesting material together. In clutch 4–8, usually 5–6 pale blue, quickly fading eggs. Incubation lasts 11–15 days, both members of the pair hatch, at night - only the female.
Nestlings hatch covered with long thick grayish-white down. With the advent of chicks, residential hollows become clearly visible, birds constantly fly to them with food, carry off whitish litter capsules from the nest, the chicks chirp loudly. 20–22 days after hatching (sometimes 15–17 days later), the brood leaves the nest. Usually the departure falls on the middle or the end of May. Perhaps some couples occasionally have 2 broods per season. All summer the birds wander families, gradually forming large flocks and moving to more open habitats. At the end of summer, before spending the night, flocks of starlings numbering thousands of individuals perform complex pirouettes in the air, resembling clouds that are constantly changing configuration, with all birds moving surprisingly smoothly and synchronously.
At this time, massive overnight stays are usually formed in reed beds, less often in tree crowns. In the fall, many males sing, but less actively than in spring. Departure begins in August, is delayed until late autumn, small groups occasionally stay overwintering in the middle lane - in cattle yards, city and suburban dumps. The first years do not breed, spend their summer wandering, nest only at the end of the 2nd year of life. The maximum known lifespan is 20 years.
Starling, or Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)
Description of the appearance of the bird
Many observant readers are interested in information about the starling, migratory bird or not, the description of this bird. Starling is considered one of the largest and most resourceful birds belonging to the order of passerine. These birds from the Starling family include more than 100 species. The size of the starling is considered the average for passerines. The weight of an adult bird is about 75 g, body length - 20-22 cm, wingspan - 40 cm. The following external features are characteristic of starlings:
- Black plumage with a metallic sheen, which can be molted and turned brown in spring. Some birds have purple, bronze, greenish, bluish play on feathers.
- Males are slightly larger than females and brighter.
- They have a sharp and long beak, slightly curved down. The bill also has the ability to change color. Most of the time he is black at the starling, but becomes yellow during the mating season.
- The bird's paws are large and strong, brown-red in color with curled claws.
- It has a massive body, short neck and shortened tail.
Is a common starling a migratory bird or not?
Almost in all parts of the world this gomonlivuy and chirping bird can be found, because it easily adapts to various conditions of nature.
The most favorite places for the settlement of starlings are Australia, Eurasia, New Zealand, and North America. Starlings rarely fly into Central and South America. They are perfectly acclimatized in Russia, France, Yugoslavia, Greece, Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, and Iraq. People have already settled these birds in Africa and Australia.
Is an ordinary starling a migratory bird or not? The answer to this question is two-digit. Starlings in Western and Southern Europe lead a settled life, that is, they stay here for the winter. But in Russia, in the east and north of Europe, they winter cold, so they fly to the southern countries. Many in the spring could observe - whether the starling is a migratory bird or not. Photos in the article demonstrate the spring colonization of their wooden houses by starlings when they return from the southern edges.
Favorite habitat of these birds is flat terrain. In mountainous areas, they do not fly. Preferred places for settlement, they choose areas near rivers or swamps. Sometimes they can be found in the steppe regions and light forest. Often the homes of starlings are found near farms and human houses. They like to settle near the fields where they feed themselves. Most birds live in hollows or under the niches of buildings. Also, they are not averse to live in cozy birdhouses built by people.
Description of the bird's lifestyle
Starlings live in colonies, gather in flocks. You can often see a picture of thousands of birds flying by, resembling a bee swarm in the distance. Birds perform one after another complex pirouettes, and the whole pack seems to be one whole organism. Before landing, they hover above the ground, and then crumble over a wide area.
For the night, they also gather in groups. For this they are suitable places where willows and reeds grow. In a city park or garden, they just sleep on the branches of trees and bushes. In countries where they overwinter, flocks can number up to a million individuals.
During the breeding period, the starlings live in their small territory and do not allow other birds to enter there. They find food on the banks of rivers, crops, gardens, in villages. Feed in the nest do not carry, eat it aside.
Starlings are aggressive towards other birds; they compete for nesting sites. Birds such as highland birds and green woodpeckers become victims of their behavior. The life span of this songbird is approximately 10-12 years. Watching the starling, you can see that it is a rather nimble bird, albeit a small one.
Funny starlings eat both plant food and animal origin. The most suitable spring food for them is earthworms, appearing on the surface with the first sunlight. They also happily feed on the larvae that winter in the bark of trees. In the summer, the starlings treat themselves with caterpillars, butterflies, grasshoppers, apples, pears, plums, cherries, cherries. In some ways starlings can be called rescuers from pests.
In the spring, arriving from the southern countries, the starlings enter into the mating season. In European and Asian countries, they manage to hatch chicks three times from spring to autumn. For this, the birds are divided into pairs. Then they look for places for nesting and put dry parts of plants there. Moss, feathers and grass are laid on top of the bird. The male can care for several females at once.
In the first laying of eggs can be from 6 to 10 pieces. The female lays eggs once a day. Then she incubates them. The eggs are light blue in color and reach 3 cm in length and 2 cm in width. The weight of one is 6.5 g.
Sometimes the female on the incubation of the offspring replaces the male. Chicks are born on days 11-13. They are completely naked and blind. At first, they behave completely silently. As soon as the parents threw the eggshells out of the nest, then the chicks appeared. Adults begin to look for food for posterity. They bring insects to chicks, which is a complete protein food. During the day, parents can fly for food up to 300 times. After three weeks of life, the chicks make their first flight. Parents of various tricks lure them out of the nest.
Do starlings have enemies?
The most ardent enemies of the starlings are crows and magpies. These birds are able to ruin their nests. Also little birds are afraid of eagles, golden eagles, peregrine falcons, owls, falcons. These predators make their way to nests in search of eggs and chicks that they eat. Cats, martens, snakes can also get to the nest and eat small chicks.
Starlings next to a man
The relationship between people and starlings is twofold. Previously, people were more in nature and admired the early singing birds. So, there were cases when starlings were caged like a canary or a nightingale. In captivity, they behave perfectly: they are actively chirping and jumping. Destroying locusts, slugs and Maybirds, starlings bring considerable benefits to humans. An important feature of their food is that they eat insects still in the larval stage, finding them in the ground.
In addition to the benefits, these birds can also bring harm to business executives. Eating fruits and berries, they destroy crops in orchards and vineyards. Especially they love strawberries and cherries. Damaged goods after their raids become unsuitable for consumption. Farmers struggle with raids of these birds in various ways. They are stocked with nets, traps, bogey and sound devices.
City dwellers also do not quite like starlings, who pollute with their excrements pavements, roofs and trees. You can often observe in parks benches and alleys, covered with excrement of birds with an unpleasant odor. Parks workers have to carefully monitor this. In certain places, starlings even try to catch them with nets, scare away searchlights and sound signals.
Interesting information about starlings
If you watch the starlings, then you can note some of their features:
- In flight, the starling makes quick and smooth movements, and in the process of catching insects - the wrong ones.
- Starlings perfectly imitate sounds. They repeat the sounds and voices of other birds. They can easily portray a phone call, the creak of a door, the croaking of a frog, the meowing of a cat or some kind of melody.
- Starlings can fly on branches such large flocks that break them off.
- At the end of the nesting season, the old starlings unite with their young in noisy flocks and set off for the winter to warm countries.
- Small chicks of starlings are very voracious, one chick eats three times more than an adult.
Is a nightingale a migratory bird?
It is no secret that the nightingale looks like a small starling. Therefore, many are interested in whether the nightingale and starling are migratory birds or not.
Nightingales are passerine birds. This is a small bird with brownish plumage, reddish tail, dark eyes, long legs. Thanks to his singing talents, the nightingale became a symbol for many writers and poets. Many say that this little bird is not just singing, but pouring in. Singing is distinguished by a special sonority, a large number of intonations.
There are more than 20 species of nightingales. The most common common nightingale. It is a migratory bird and goes to Africa for wintering. Nightingales are populated mainly in dense scrubland, near rivers or lakes. In April, nightingales return to their nesting sites. They immediately make themselves known with their flute, clicking and crackling singing at night or at dawn.
The starling is constantly compared with the blackbird, mentioning the similarity of their size, dark shiny feathering and beak coloration.
The fact that there is still a starling in front of you, will tell his short tail, his body in small bright flecks and the ability to run on the ground, unlike the jumping thrushes. In spring, the light specks are more visible in females, but by the autumn, thanks to the molt, this sign is erased.
The beak is moderately long and sharp, barely noticeable curved downwards: yellow - in the mating season, in other months - black. Until the chicks have not entered puberty, their beak is colored only in brown and black. Young starlings also show the common brown color of feathers (without the bright luster inherent in adults), the particular roundness of the wings and the bright neck.
It is interesting! It has been established that the color of the metallic tone is determined not by the pigment, but by the design of the feathers themselves. If you change the angle and lighting flickering plumage also changes its shades.
The starling does not grow more than 22 cm with a weight of 75 g and a wingspan of almost 39 cm. It has a massive body resting on reddish-brown paws, a commensurate rounded head and a short (6-7 cm) tail.
Ornithologists divide starlings into several geographical subspecies, whose black feathers are distinguished by shades of metallic luster. For example, European starlings cast on the sun green and purple, in other subspecies the back, chest and back of the neck shimmer with blue and bronze.
Starling lives everywhere except Central and South America. Thanks to man, the bird has settled in New Zealand, Australia, South West Africa and North America.
Rooted starlings in the United States tried several times: the most effective was the attempt in 1891, when hundreds of birds were released into the wild in Central Park in New York. Despite the fact that most of the birds died, the rest was enough for the gradual "capture" of the continent (from Florida to southern Canada).
Starling occupied vast areas of Eurasia: from Iceland / Kola Peninsula (in the north) to southern France, Northern Spain, Italy, Northern Greece, Yugoslavia, Turkey, Northern Iran and Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan and North-West India (in the south) .
It is interesting! In the east, the range extends to Baikal (inclusive), and in the west it covers the Azores. The starling was seen in Siberia at about 60 ° north latitude.
Part of the starlings never leaves the inhabited areas (these include birds of southern and western Europe), the other part (from the eastern and northern European territories) always flies to winter to the south.
An ordinary starling is not particularly picky about its habitat, but avoids mountains, preferring plains with salt marshes, light forests, swamps and steppes, as well as cultivated landscapes (gardens / parks). He likes to settle closer to the fields and in general not far from the person who provides the starling with abundant food supply.
The most difficult life of migratory starlings returning home in early April. Бывает, что в это время вновь выпадает снег, отгоняющий пернатых южнее: те, кто не успел откочевать, попросту гибнут.
Первыми прилетают самцы. Их подруги появляются чуть позже, когда потенциальные избранники уже выбрали места для гнездования (в том числе дупла и скворечники), и теперь оттачивают свои вокальные данные, не забывая подраться с соседями.
Starling stretches up, wide open beak and fluttering wings. Harmonic sounds do not always come out of his neck: often he squeals unpleasantly and squeals. Sometimes migratory starlings masterfully imitate the voices of subtropical birds, but more often Russian birds become role models, such as:
- jay and thrush,
- rooster chicken
- duck and others.
Starlings are able to mimic not only birds: they perfectly reproduce dog barking, cat "meow", bleating sheep, frog croaking, creaking wickets / carts, clicking of a shepherd's whip and even knocking of a typewriter.
The singer repeats the favorite sounds with a patter, completing the performance with shrill squealing and “choking” (2-3 times), after which he finally stops. The older the starling, the more extensive its repertoire.
An ordinary starling is not a particularly friendly neighbor: it quickly joins in the fight against other birds, if the plot favorable for nesting is at stake. Thus, in the United States, the starlings ousted the red-headed woodpeckers, natives of North America, from their homes. In Europe, the starlings are fighting for the best nesting with green woodpeckers and rollerblades.
Starlings are sociable creations, which is why they gather in flocks and live in closely spaced colonies (several pairs each). In flight, they create a large group of several thousand birds synchronously hovering, turning and landing. And already on the ground they “scatter” over a huge area.
It is interesting! Hatching and guarding the offspring, do not leave their territory (about a radius of about 10 m), not allowing the rest of the birds. For food fly to the gardens, fields, villas and shores of natural reservoirs.
They usually spend the night also in groups, as a rule, on tree / shrub branches in city parks and gardens or in coastal areas densely overgrown with willows / reeds. In wintering, the company of overnight starlings may consist of more than a million individuals.
The north and east (in the regions of Europe) starlings live, the more characteristic seasonal migrations are for them. Thus, the inhabitants of England and Ireland are prone to almost complete settled life, and in Belgium almost half of the starlings fly to the south. The fifth part of the starlings of Holland spend the winter at home, the rest move 500 km to the south - to Belgium, England and Northern France.
The first lots migrate to the south in early September, as soon as the autumn molt is completed. The peak of migration is in October and ends by November. The lonely young starlings are going to get the fastest wintering, starting at the beginning of July.
In the Czech Republic, East Germany and Slovakia, wintering bird houses make up about 8%, and even fewer (2.5%) in southern Germany and Switzerland.
Almost all starlings inhabiting Eastern Poland, northern Scandinavia, northern Ukraine and Russia are migratory. They spend the winter in the south of Europe, in India or in the north-west of Africa (Algeria, Egypt or Tunisia), covering a distance of 1-2 thousand kilometers during flights.
It is interesting! Starlings travelers, arriving in the south by the thousands, extremely annoy the local population. Almost all winter, the inhabitants of Rome do not like to leave the house in the evenings, when the feathered parks and public gardens chirp so that they drown out the noise of passing cars.
Some starlings return from the resort very early, in February-March, when there is still snow on the ground. One month later (at the beginning of May) those who live in the northern regions of the natural range arrive home.
The average lifetime of common starlings is documented.. The information was provided by the ornithologists Anatoly Shapoval and Vladimir Payevsky, who studied birds in the Kaliningrad region at one of the biological stations. According to scientists, ordinary starlings live in the wild for about 12 years.
Food, starling ration
A good life expectancy of this little bird is partly due to its omnivorous nature: the starling eats both vegetable and protein-rich foods.
The latter include:
- insect larvae,
- caterpillars and butterflies,
Flocks of starlings ruin vast grain fields and vineyards, causing damage to summer residents by eating garden berries, as well as fruit / seeds of fruit trees (apples, pears, cherries, plums, apricots, and others).
It is interesting! The contents of the fetus, hidden under a strong shell, starlings get with the help of a simple lever. The bird inserts the beak into a barely noticeable hole and begins to expand it, unclenching time after time.
Sedentary starlings begin to mate in early spring, migratory - after arrival. The duration of the mating season depends on the weather and the availability of feed.
Couples nest not only in nesting boxes and hollows, but also in the foundations of housing for larger birds (egrets or white-tailed eagles). Having chosen a place, the starling calls the female to singing, at the same time notifying competitors that the “apartment” is occupied.
Both build a nest, looking for stalks and roots, twigs and leaves, feathers and wool for its litter. Starlings are seen in polygyny: they not only fascinate several females at the same time, but also fertilize them (one after another). Polygamy explains three clutches per season: the third happens 40-50 days after the first.
In a clutch, as a rule, there are from 4 to 7 light blue eggs (6.6 g each). The incubation period lasts 11-13 days. During this time, the male occasionally replaces the female, sitting on the eggs.
The fact that the chicks were born, signals the shell under the nest. Parents rest in fragments, mostly at night, and in the morning and in the evening they are busy searching for food, leaving for children's food several dozen times a day.
At first, only soft food is used, later replaced by grasshoppers, caterpillars, beetles and snails. After three weeks, chicks may fly away from the nest, but sometimes they are afraid to do it. Luring the "alarmists", the adult starlings are spinning near the nest with food squeezed in their beak.
Starling and man
Starling ordinary associated with humanity is very ambiguous relationship. This harbinger of spring and the gifted singer managed to spoil his good attitude towards himself with several details:
- the introduced species are crowding out local birds,
- large bird flocks at airports threaten flight safety,
- cause significant damage to farmland (grain crops, vineyards and berries),
- are carriers of diseases dangerous to humans (cysticercosis, blastomycosis and histoplasmosis).
Along with this, the starlings actively destroy agricultural pests, including locusts, caterpillars and slugs, May beetles, and two-winged insects (gadflies, flies and gadflies) and their larvae. No wonder people have learned to knock together birdhouses, attracting starlings to their gardens and cottages.
Starling bird's habitat is wide enough, it can be found almost all over Eurasia, from taiga to subtropics, in the last few decades it began to be noticed towards Zaboikale, in northern Europe it was possible to reach the forest-tundra, as well as in Western and Southern Europe and the Caucasus The middle east. In some territories, he lives throughout the year, but in the warm season, the number of the flock is replenished by migrants from the northern regions, where winters are more severe and snowy. Now it is clear starling migratory bird or not.
Sometimes the starling can fly even to Asia and Africa, where there is a comfortable subtropical climate. In warm South Africa, cool New Zealand and Australia introduced, as well as in the island territories of Oceania. In the European part of Russia, common varieties in normal amounts are common, although there are significant variations. Recent studies show a sharp decrease in numbers.
Starling bird's habitat is wide enough, it can be found almost throughout the whole territory of Eurasia.
In their places gnezovariya, which are mainly located in the middle lane, appear in early March, when the snow melts, and fly off in August and the first months of autumn. Some individuals stay at home if the winter is not snowy, and still like to live in a city near to the trash
It prefers to live in cities and settlements, and more precisely in parks and gardens, populating empty cavities in human buildings or birdhouses. In natural conditions it settles in cliffs, abandoned burrows, wooden hollows. Colonies are rarely formed. Not everyone knows what the starling eats, so this issue should be dealt with in more detail. Insects predominate in the diet, birds find food under the trees. The larvae, earthworms get out of the soft soil, in the spring season they follow the plow when the land is irrigated. Often they can be seen on the lawn near people, much less often it examines crowns in search of food, and also hunts insects in flight.
Starling prefers to live in cities and settlements, in parks and gardens, populating empty cavities in human buildings or birdhouses
July and August allow the introduction of berries in the diet, in the past flocks of starlings caused great damage to the crop. In most cases, monogamous, although representatives of bigamia are registered.
Throughout the summer, birds wander with their families, flocks are gradually forming, they are trying to move to open areas. In August, before a night's sleep, flocks in which there are thousands of birds produce the most complex aerobatic maneuvers, constantly changing their configuration. It is surprising that all birds show synchronous work.
Many wonder where the starlings overwinter. During this period, staying overnight stays are formed, usually on tree branches, but in most cases in reed groves.
At the onset of autumn, the males begin to sing a lot, but not with such dedication as in the spring season. The departure takes place at the end of the summer, it can drag on until the beginning of autumn, the starling is a migratory bird, although some individuals stay at home. Until the 1st year, individuals do not breed, they spend the whole summer wandering a lifestyle, and begin to nest only when they reach the age of two. life expectancy is on average 15-20 years.
After choosing a nesting dream, the male calls the female with his singing, the start of incubation stops the singing of the liver. Sometimes a male representative builds a nest even without a female, however, the partners are engaged in construction together, spending a lot of time looking for materials. Masonry has about 4-8 eggs, they have a pale blue color, which quickly fades. The incubation period lasts about 2 weeks, both parents alternate eggs, at night only the female.
Chicks at birth are covered with thick long grayish-white down. After the appearance of the chicks, the places of residence of the family become very noticeable, because the parents constantly visit the offspring with food, taking white litter from the nest, while chanting loudly. 20 days after the birth of the egg, the brood flies out of the nest. As a rule, the departure takes place in May. Some couples make two broods in one season.
The common starling (lat. Sturnus vulgaris) is a species of songbird of the songbird, starling families, starling genus.
This bird got its name due to its singing. In a wide range of sounds made by the starling, crackling, smacking and stinging can be traced, resembling the twisting of fried food in a hot frying pan. In the Czech Republic, for example, the starling is called "shpachek", which literally means "fat."
Depending on the range, the modern classification identifies several subspecies of the starling ordinary, slightly differing in size and overflow of plumage.
What does a starling look like?
The structure and plumage of starlings resemble blackbirds, but differ in their smaller size and manner of movement on the ground: the starlings walk and the blackbirds jump.
The body length of an adult individual is 18.7-21.2 cm with a mass of about 75 g. The wingspan reaches 38.7 cm. The constitution is dense, the neck is shortened. The wings wide at the base noticeably taper towards the end. The wings of young starlings are characterized by a rounded shape. Straight, short tail grows in length to 6.2-6.8 cm. The legs are painted in a bright, red-brown color.
Males can be distinguished by elongated feathers on the chest and a bluish spot at the base of the beak. In females, the feathers on the chest are small and elegant, and on the beak there are red specks. The beak of individuals of both sexes is long, sharp, slightly curved downwards and flattened at the sides. An interesting feature is that the beak of the starlings is usually black, but becomes yellow in the mating season. At this time, the starlings are especially reminiscent of thrushes.
The plumage color of adults is intensely black with a metallic sheen, which, depending on the subspecies, may be bronze, purple, greenish or blue, shimmering in the sun.
In winter, before the beginning of the molt, the feathers are covered with white or beige specks, especially visible on the wings and chest. Immediately after the spring molt, the plumage takes on a uniform, brown color.
Starling in the branches. Starling on a branch. Starling cleans feathers. Starling. Starling takes water treatments. Starling takes water treatments. Starling. Starling.
Habitat and habitat
The common starling lives in all geographic areas except Central and South America. Starlings began to be imported to Africa, Australia and North America in the 19th century, where the species successfully adapted to the conditions of existence.
Starlings living in the south and west of Europe are sedentary, the northern and eastern populations migrate to the south of Europe, India and African countries before the onset of cold weather. The distance between wintering and nesting can reach 1-2 thousand km.
Migrating starlings return to nesting sites in February-March, northern populations in early May, with females arriving a few days later than males.
In wintering places, starlings gather in huge flocks of over one million individuals. During nesting live in small groups of several pairs. They prefer to settle on flat landscapes, light forests, swamps and along the banks of reservoirs. Often found in rural areas, where more food and easier to find a place to nest.
What do starlings eat?
In early spring, the starlings diet is animal food. After the snow disappears, birds willingly eat earthworms and overwintering insect larvae. With the onset of heat, starlings hunt butterflies, grasshoppers, centipedes and spiders.
Vegetable ration consists of cereal seeds, berries and various fruits: apples, pears, cherries, plums. With a sharp and curved beak, the starlings easily break the nutshell or pierce the rind of hard fruits.
Starling on the ashes is looking for fried beetles. Starling hunted beetle larvae.