Starling - Sturnus vulgaris


With their short tail, pointed head and triangular wings, starlings look like black jet fighters in flight. When seen closer they are very glossy with sheen of purples and greens. Breeding males have a blue base to their bill. Noisy and gregarious, Starlings spend a lot of the year in flocks. Still a common garden bird, its decline elsewhere makes it a Red List species.

Identification difficulty

Conspicuous and widespread in the UK, occurring everywhere except for the highest parts of the Scottish Highlands. They are most abundant in southern England. Huge winter roosts can be found in plantations, reed beds and city centres.

When to see it

All year round. Large numbers arrive in autumn to spend the winter here.

Life History

Starlings eat invertebrates but they will also consume just about anything. They can often be seen on grassland probing into the soil for invertebrates.

UK Status

Common and widespread in Britain

VC55 Status

Abundant throughout the year in Leicestershire and Rutland and as a breeding bird here.

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map