Starlings are slightly smaller than blackbirds, they can appear dull in colour from a distance but when seen up close have an iridescent green and purple sheen with patterns to their feathers, a pointed beak and a short tail.
Noisy, confident and gregarious they spend most of their time in flocks and are famous for their winter behaviour or ‘murmurations’ before dusk, where large numbers of starlings seen to dance through the sky in perfect coordinated fluid like displays.
1.9 million pairs in the UK. Starlings are still common in gardens although their numbers have been declining.
Starlings nest in holes in trees or even buildings, they build an untidy nest from April and lay 5-7 pale blue eggs.
The male builds the first part of the nest whilst singing to attract a female. The female then finishes and lines the nest to insulate it.
They will use nest boxes with 45 mm entrance holes and often nest in loose colonies.
Average 5 years.
Starlings eat insects and fruit.
Flocks will land at bird tables and feeders in gardens and eat suet, sunflower hearts and peanuts.