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Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)

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Clickhere for the bird's sound.

In spring starling are completely wite speckled*. These disappear during summer. **

A very common bird all over Europe. It lives both in the countryside and in the middle of towns. Farmers fear the animal, because when the cherry trees present their fruit, flogs of starlings fly around. And when such a flock chooses your tree you're left without any pickable cherry. In Holland, somewhere in the woods not far from Arnhem, is a beautiful museum, with works by Van Gogh, Cezanne and the like. This museum has a little coffeeshop, where you can also sit outside. Coffee there is presented with little biscuits. Starlings love these and when you are presented with coffee don't be amazed a starling lands on your table.. I have seen the same behavior in Poland, so my guess is that starlings are daring birds all over Europe. Because of it's many colours, which are visible during sunshine mainly, they have always intrigued people. Farmers for instance hated the birds, but they would still provide nesting opportunities.

The Starling is an extremely impertenent bird, that can be found in many towns and cities.(*).

This bird belongs to the family of Starlings (Sturnidae). It is in our garden infrequently and can be seen in Holland februari - november. The bird is 8" and weighs 75 grams. It lives in not choosy mostly. It eats insects, cherries, worms, snails and fruit. Compared to the male, the female is more spotted. In April the birds will start building their nest. Thet accept almost any hole as a good spot: holes in trees, rocks, walls. But flowerpots and other peculiar objects will do the trick as well. They lay four to six eggs, on which they sit for 12 to 14 days. After hatching the young remain in the nest for some 20 days.

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Name of this bird in various other languages
Dutch German French Polish Scientific
Spreeuw Star Étourneau sansonnet Szpak Sturnus vulgaris


* These pictures were not taken in our garden, but in shoppingcentre Schalkwijk in Haarlem, Holland. © Hania Berdys.

** This picture was not taken in our garden, but in the centre of Leiden, Holland. © Hania Berdys.

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