RSPB Giving Nature a Home Campaign

Relations with man

The fortunes of starlings are closely linked to human activities.

Helping and hindering

We can help by converting other habitats such as woodland into open farmland, and erecting buildings, to provide them with food and nest sites. People have, therefore, been instrumental in creating the present high population in Europe and Asia.

Starlings eat large numbers of invertebrates, many of which are crop pests. Therefore, in many countries starlings are considered to be beneficial and encouraged with nest boxes. The preference for crops during the autumn and winter months brings the starling into conflict with people. 

Within their winter range there have been many failed efforts to reduce starling numbers to protect crops. The main conflict areas are cherry orchards (and on the continent also vineyards), autumn sown cereal, and cattle feeding troughs. The droppings produced at the roost can make a large roost unwelcome, whether it is in a woodland or in a town centre.

Starling hotel