By Bailey Kolenda
What does make European Starlings one of the most feared little birds of all? Many many reasons. Spreading disease to many livestock, causing oh so much trouble in the fall/spring, and disrupting the peaceful sounds of nature. But where do these unwanted fellow come from, and why do they cause chaos in our everyday North-American lives?
The European Starling is naturally found in the land of Europe. Europe has mild weather. As in North America, European Starlings nest in all types of habitats and under all levels of population. The farms, undisturbed areas, the city, structured trees, and so on. Their natural predators include: Falcons, Squirrels, Hawks, Owls, Snakes, Cats, and other natural bird eating carnivores.
Of course every organism has a description of it’s own, that is why the European Starling can also be referred to as the Sturnus vulgaris. To easily identify this pest, just look for a bird that looks like: Black bird- Robin sized bird with Purplish-greenish head, looks sort of black in the distance, pointed wings, and spotted plumage. Both genders look quite similar from another. Their character can be recognized by a boisterous, loud bird that commonly travel in large groups, and make noises such as rattles, whirs, ad whistles. They can fly very fast.
The European Starling hadn’t always been in North America, of course. It was originally introduced into the ‘New World’ in the 1800s by Eugene Schieffelin and plenty of Shakespeare enthusiasts. They wanted to see a bird from one of Shakespeare's stories in the New World, where they could always see them. In this climate, they could nest in places just as the same in Europe (farms, trees, houses, etc.). The climate in the European Starling’s new home would include a variety of climates and weather all over North America, and with plenty of plains, mountains, and woods to settle in.
Over back in Europe, the European Starling was not a bother at all, but when introduced to North America, all havoc broke loose. The harm and damage caused cost so much to the environments, and to farmers acrossed the country. They destroyed many Vineyards, Crops, Orchards and so on. Spreading disease towards thousands of farms, hurting the economy deeply. They even multiply VERY quickly! That is not good at all. By now, the multiplying has slowed down considerably but they still are of a bother. They are said to in the fall/winter travel in large flocks, causing trouble in the air. There are benefits from these somewhat pesky birds. They eat bugs that are often harmful to crops.
To battle against this abnoxious bird, some methods of fighting them are Pellet guns, cats, repellants, poisons, nets over crops, moving colorful objects such as ribbon, kites, balloons, etc. Moving colorful objects have been found to be very effective.
The diet of the European Starling consists of 50% beetles! Millipedes, spiders, worms and snails. Grains, and seeds, wild black berries, elderberries, and grubs. To a European Starling, this is all so good!
Now you know, and to some may still be a mystery, why and the European Starling does. To this day, they do cause chaos among birds by annoying them, but by now, a lot are adjusted to them.