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Conservation status: Red

Smaller than blackbirds, with a short tail, pointed head, triangular wings, starlings look black at a distance but when seen closer they are very glossy with a sheen of purples and greens. Their flight is fast and direct and they walk and run confidently on the ground. Noisy and gregarious, starlings spend a lot of the year in flocks. Still one of the commonest of garden birds, its decline elsewhere makes it a Red List species.

Illustrations

Overview

Latin name

Sturnus vulgaris

Family

Starlings (Sturnidae)

Where to see them

Conspicuous and widespread in the UK, occurring everywhere except for the highest parts of the Scottish Highlands. They are most abundant in southern England and are more thinly distributed in upland areas with moorland. Still one of the UK's commonest garden birds. Huge roosts are found in plantations, reed beds and city centres.

When to see them

All year round. Large numbers arrive in autumn to spend the winter here.

What they eat

Insects and fruit.

Population

EuropeUK breeding*UK wintering*UK passage*
-804,000 territories--

Distribution

Key

Audio

Patrik Aberg, Xeno-canto

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