Kingdom Animalia
Click to hear the call  Click to watch the video
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Passeriformes
Family Sturnidae
Genus Sturnus
Species vulgaris
Classification Linnaeus, 1758
Common namee european starling
Size 21 centimeters
Male weight 75 - 90 grams

Geographic Range it is native to Eurasia and North Africa. It is found in Europe, Australia, South Africa, North America and in a few Caribbean islands.
Physical Characteristics during summertime the adults have black plumage with green and violet glints, which are visible above all on the head and on the breast. The beak is sharp, yellow and slightly rounded; paws are reddish. The tail is short and it extends just as far as the tips of closed wings. Winter plumage is black with light feather tips which are white spotted; the beak is dark brown. Young have grey-brown feathers, whitish throat and dark beak. The only distinction between sexes is a spot at the base of the beak: it is bluish in the males, reddish in the females.
Canto it gives out different sounds; it can imitate sounds and calls of other birds.
Behaviour it often digs the ground looking for invertebrates. It is a very gregarious bird; it spends its life in groups and also migration occurs in flocks.
Habitat cultivated regions, villages, cities. During nest-building it prefers places where there is a chance to find cavities to build a nest, while the rest of the year it adapts to different kinds of habitat, from open fields to soft water marshes.
Food habits it is omnivore: it can eat insects, seeds, invertebrates, vertebrates, plants, fruits. It can form flocks where food resources are abundant. The European starling feeds its young only on insects.
Nidification it prefers to build the nest in places up to 15 meters high, on houses, among trees, on cliffs; it adapts to build its nest on the ground if it cannot find cavities. It can build nests with up to 1 meter diameter and in order to realise them a lot of vegetal material is needed. Breeding season generally begins in spring and ends at the beginning of summer. European starlings usually have three different breeding periods and the result of each of them is a clutch, the first of which is synchronised to the other starlings that are found in the same area. The last clutch occurs about 50 days after the first. The female lays 4-5 light eggs and she broods them for at least 12 days partially aided by the male. The first eggs hatch at the beginning of April, and the juvenile birds reach maturity in July. Young leave the nest at the age of about 21 days and then they form small flocks. As summer goes by, flocks become more and more numerous up to hundreds or even thousands of individuals. In the evening they gather together to spend the night from places that may be even kilometres far.

Sources Oiseaux.net
University of Michigan - Museum of Zoology
Web References http://www.oiseaux.net/
Source of the photo http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/media/phil/starling.jpg
Source of the call http://www.naturesongs.com
Source of the video http://www.hbw.com/ibc/

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