European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris): Recognising European Starlings
  • European Starlings are glossy black or brown birds, often with small white spots and a yellow beak.
  • They live in areas transformed by people where food is plentiful. They are therefore much more common in urban areas, alien plantations and on farms than in Fynbos.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris): From introduction to invasion
 
  • European Starlings occur naturally in Europe, Asia and North Africa.
  • They are aggressive invaders that have spread to most temperate parts of the world.
  • Cecil John Rhodes brought European Starlings to Cape Town in 1897, along with other birds and mammals.
  • The starlings bred rapidly and spread across the whole Fynbos Biome in less than 50 years.
  • They are one of the bird species that feeds on Rooikrans  seed and helps to spread this invasive alien plant.
  • Starlings feed mainly on invertebrates that live in the soil, but are also a serious agricultural pest, causing huge damage to crops.
  • They nest in cracks and holes and may displace indigenous animals that use the same nesting sites, or cause a nuisance when they nest in people’s roofs.
  • They often form huge flocks, especially in the late afternoon when they gather at their roosts. These roosts are very noisy, messy places.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris): Controlling European Starlings
 
  • You can prevent European Starlings from nesting by blocking their nesting holes.
  • Where European Starlings become a nuisance they are controlled by trapping, shooting and scaring them away.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris):
Terrestrial plants:      Aquatic plants Terrestrial animals: Aquatic animals
Kikuyu Grass Water Hyacinth Argentine Ant Largemouth Black Bass
Port Jackson Willow Parrot's Feather European Starling Common Carp
Rooikrans Spanish Reed Feral Cat European Mallard