Common Starlings

Common Starling

The introduced bird species, Common Starling, is very common in our district, including our garden. They are also very common throughout south-eastern Australia, sometimes forming flocks numbering in the thousands.

They are a much maligned bird – and with good reason. We certainly don’t like the way they feast on the fruit in our orchard and they certainly foul up tree hollows when nesting, making the hollows most unattractive to native species.

They also have an uncanny knack of being able to imitate other birds. More than once I have been over excited about hearing an unusual call in the garden, only to realise that a starling is responsible. One of our resident starlings is able to very cleverly imitate a chook (chicken) cackling. Years ago we even had one around that was able to imitate the outside bell of a telephone, something it had learned from a nearby factory.

There is one redeeming feature of this species. At certain times of the year they do take on a very colourful, shimmering, iridescent  array of colours, as shown in the birds featured in the photos today. (Hint: click on the photos to enlarge the image.)

Common Starling


3 Responses to “Common Starlings”

  1. Kate says:

    Here in the fleurieu starlings are in plague proportions no doubt due to the vine yards. I must admit i deeply loathe the flying rat but i was surprised to learn that they can be trained to speak they can be taught a large vocabulary.

    • Trevor says:

      They are amazingly adaptive birds. They have successfully introduced themselves to Macquarie Island – halfway between Tasmania and Antarctica. I didn’t see any in Ethiopia and only a few in Morocco and Spain.They are surprisingly not present anywhere in South America.

  2. Louise says:

    I know you shouldn’t really like them, but I do love their shimmering iridescent sparkliness!

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