Starlings

OVERVIEW

Famously released in New York City’s Central Park in 1890 as a way to introduce North Americans to the animals mentioned in the works of Shakespeare, starlings are an invasive species that now holds a strong presence totaling over 150 million birds. They live mainly in urban settings and flock in large numbers, which causes various problems for crops. Starlings can also spread a number of diseases to humans and other animals.
Starlings in the attic or on the roof? Those pesky starlings are notorious for causing significant damage to buildings, vehicles, property and machinery with their excessive droppings.

More Information

Biology & Behavior

European starlings were imported into New York in 1890 and have spread across the North American continent. Starling nests are built in tree cavities, openings in buildings, or deserted wood pecker holes of suitable size. Two to eight eggs are laid and the incubation period is 11 to 13 days. Both sexes help in this activity.

Diseases

Damage

As fledglings leave the nest they gather in small family groups of up to 10 birds, including one or two adults. These small groups merge together into large flocks. Merging continues until all of the birds in a local area are in one large flock. These flocks are responsible for depredations to soft fruits and other summer crops. ​Starlings invade many homes cracks, crevices, construction gaps, dryer vents etc. Starlings use lots of nesting materials that often carry mites. Because they use so much nesting material fire danger is heavily increased.

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