European Starling

Sturnus vulgaris

Print by von Wright Brothers
Plumage appears black at a distance
Yellow bill, pink feet part of breeding ensemble
Nonbreeding plumage
Murmuration of starlings in flight
In sparse woods or near human habitations
Both parents build nest, usually in cavity; 3 to 6 eggs in clutch
Parent delivering food to nest
Young gaping for food
Woodpeckers used to nest here
Unlike parents, juveniles are brown
Fledgling nearing adult size still begging
Adults and juveniles foraging for insects
Juvenile molting into glossy adult plumage
Adults and juveniles forage in huge flocks outside of breeding season
Diet includes more fruit after breeding
Winter plumage is highly spotted
Gregarious and noisy after breeding; considered a pest
Flocking suggested as strategy for escaping predators
Alas, all but one escaped Red-tailed Hawk

Species account to come.