Monday, July 15, 2013
The starling bird
N.E. United States. The adult male and female attain a length of 8½ inches. The coloring is predominantly iridescent green and purple with creamy-brown spots tipping the feathers. The long, pointed wings and the short tail are dark brownish gray. The bill is yellow. The female is less brightly colored than the male and in winter adults and young display more of the drab grayish-brown coloration. They are omnivorous feeders, and although they are beneficial to farmers in destroying Japanese beetles and other harmful insects, they are often considered pests, particularly in England where they are extremely numerous. They are lively, active birds and often roost in enormous flocks. Starlings nest in holes and cavities in trees, and often appropriate the nests made by other birds, such as bluebirds and woodpeckers, driving away the original occupants. They are also city dwellers and are fond of roosting and nesting on or in buildings. About five pale, bluish-green eggs are usually laid in a clutch, and the young birds are tended by both the male and female. The song of the male is a loud and lively whistle. The bird can be taught to mimic sounds and in some regions is kept as a cage bird. The rose-colored starling, Pastor roseus, which is found in Asia but which sometimes occurs in Europe, is glossy black with a pink abdomen and back.