Creature Feature: Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)
By Rebecca Mathews, CG Science
As the weather warms up in Athens the sound of birds begins to fill the air. One of these birds is the Starling.
The Starling occupies Ohio by accident. This non-native bird was first brought to the United States by Shakespeare enthusiasts from Europe during the nineteenth century. There is believed to have been a desire to have every bird represented in Shakespeare’s work present in the United States. Inevitably, the birds were released and they bred.
In 1916, the bird was first spotted in the state of Ohio. From then on, the species quickly spread and could be found in all 88 counties. Today, the Starling is found all around the United States.
Worldwide, the Starling family can be found on all continents except for South America and Antarctica. The widespread territory of these birds is a direct result of numerous, deliberate introductions as well as accidental releases of the species.
The bird can be found anywhere from an open field to a cityscape. Grasslands, tropical savannas, temperate woodlands, and tropical rainforests are all not unusual habitats for these birds. However, due to the need for nesting sites, the forest is the most common habitat.
The bird is easily spotted by its stocky build, short tail, triangular wings and extended, pointed bills. There are numerous different species of Starling, about 118, and the coloration of each is different.
Starlings typically travel in larger flocks and move swiftly through the sky together. They are skilled at maneuvering during flight which allows them to travel so compactly.
- The Starling is an invasive species in the United States.
- There are approximately 118 species of Starling.
- Starlings typically travel is larger flocks.
- Starlings can be found on every continent except South America and Antarctica