Pesky but beautiful European Starlings

I know that European Starlings, (Sturnus vulgaris), get a bad rap.  They proliferate across the country in large numbers and they say that they are obnoxious.  Look at the second part of the Latin name, vulgaris.  That in itself doesn’t make you feel real great about them.  However, they have never done anything to me to make me feel hostile towards them.  We have two that come to our yard frequently to feed and bathe in our little bird fountain.  I may change my feelings if they start to bring all their relatives and in-laws. 🙂

But you can’t deny that they are a beautiful bird to look at.  I photographed this one at our bird-bath this morning  I took the shot through the glass on our patio door.  Click the image for an enlargement.

European Starling

  • Canon EOS 7D
  • Canon 100-400mm zoom lens
  • 1/250 sec. @ f6.3 – minus 1/3 EV adjustment
  • ISO 400
  • Lens focal distance  320mm
  • Metering – spot
  • Aperture priority

13 thoughts on “Pesky but beautiful European Starlings

  1. I think I saw a flock of them today. I have never seen a bird quite like that. The closest is the common Starling we see all the time around the Portland, Oregon area. These had the same body but-were very different. They flew in as a flock (about twenty) and gorged on the seeds on my dogwood tree.

    • The European Starlings are not native to the Americas, hence their name. However they sometimes are referred as common starlings. They can be found throughout the entire United States. I am sure these are what you are seeing. They are the only starlings in the country or for that matter on the continent. With their unique patterns they can appear different under lightings. Or they might be molting, or perhaps juveniles. That would explain some differences, too. I might also add that the behavior that you mention describes. Many thanks for your comment.

  2. I agree they are lovely to look at and photograph – your shot is perfect. My only complaint is when they annhilate the suet cakes I put out in the winter time for the little song birds; they are quite piggish about it while the cardinals and finches are much more fair! 😉

  3. I think I better look harder at what is coming in to feed occasionally. this bird does look familiar. Beautiful shot…have a great day…

  4. A great image of this bird,Bob. We have quite a few of them in our area, and mostly see damage to fruit from them. My grandfather couldn’t stand them, but to us their no real problem. We have so many “trash” birds that they fit right in! 🙂

    • Yeah, they fit right in with all of trash birds, too. The Grackles and Cowbirds, especially around here. But as I told Lynda, I am just a photographer who likes to shoot images of beautiful creatures.

      • They are beautiful, and no matter how we may feel, they serve a purpose. Kind of like “trash” plants (weeds). They do have purpose. Thanks for showing them to us! 🙂

  5. Your photo is beautiful! My photos through the window usually come out a bit off color and slightly out of focus.

    Did you know: 1. They are nest invaders. They push out the other birds eggs and then put theirs in! 2. If they have become so populous in your area as to become pest status, and this is most of the US, then you’d best park your car in the garage! Their poo is caustic to paint and it is liquid. They fly in such vast numbers your car will look like it was parked in the middle of a paint ball range! Not so fun when they fly over YOU either (if you take my meaning)! 3. They cause severe crop damage…

    The list goes on here:

    Did you know they were first introduced in the US in the 1800s? Seems the Shakespeare Society in New York wanted to introduce all the birds from his plays into the US. If I recall correctly it was only 5 pairs released in Central Park. Talk about a successful species!

    So, I’ll give them pretty, but I don’t have to like them! 😉

    • I agree with you 100% percent. But in the world of birding, they are just another species, another of God’s creatures, so to speak. I just do the photographs, I don’t condemn. 🙂

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