Starlings – sturnus vulgaris


Starlings

Adult size (approx.): 21.5cm

Habitat

Starlings have been found in open wooded areas, parks, gardens and cultivated areas.  They can congregate in many thousands in woods or reed beds.  In the past, roosts have developed on buildings in city centres and in loft spaces.  The Starling has a black plumage with a purple –green iridescence in summer.

Biology

Starlings build a substantial nest mainly of grasses in cavities, trees, buildings and ready-made nest boxes.  Usually 4 eggs are laid and incubated by the Female for 12 -13 days.  While breeding, the parents roost in, or stay close to the nesting site.  Fledging takes place after 21-23 days.  Soon after becoming independent (around May) the first brood joins communal roosts, leaving the parents to rear a second brood.

Importance

Starlings tend to damage by fouling, roosting and noise.  In rural areas, Starling guano build up on a tree can eventually kill it due to suffocation.  In urban areas, the guano can erode stonework, as the droppings are acidic.  Both unsightly and dangerous due to slip hazards, precautions have to be taken.

Control

Scaring and proofing are the only options.  Netting is highly effective with nets made to size for any area.  For more industrial areas, wire mesh can be used.

Areas Covered for Starling Control

 

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