European Starling - School IPM - USU Extension

    European Starling

    Sturnus vulgaris

    European Starling

    European starling (Lee Karney, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bugwood.org)

    European Starlings

    European starlings (Lee Karney, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bugwood.org)

    Starling Nest and eggs

    Starling nest and eggs (Chris Evans, University of Illinois, Bugwood.org)

    Identification

    • 7 1/2 - 8 1/2 inches long
    • black with green-purple sheen in summer and spring
    • heavily speckled with white and gold in winter
    • stocky and short-tailed
    • eggs: white to light blue, some with dark spots

    Nesting Habits

    • nest in building cavities, tree cavities or holes, nooks and crannies in and around structures
    • build nests from grasses, twigs and debris lined with feathers and other soft materials
    • some migrate south or winter; others remain year round

    Diet

    • insects and other invertebrates
    • grains, berries, fruits and seeds

    Significance

    • health concern; associated with over 25 diseases and ectoparasites, including bird mites
    • contaminate sidewalks, vehicles, buildings, etc., around their nesting sites with feces
    • make loud noises that can be disturbing

    IPM Recommendations

    • Once the species is considered a problem, first check federal, state and local regulations for bird management.
    • Install plastic netting on parts of the building used for roosting and nesting or use deterrents such as plastic or metal spines on ledges.
    • Reduce or eliminate their feeding sites and water sources.
    • See Utah Administrative Code R657-3-7 for more information on legal issues surrounding starling control.