European Starling

European StarlingHabitat

Although nonnative, European starlings reside in Minnesota year-round.

Identification

In the fall and winter, starlings are an iridescent purple/black covered with white speckles. As their feather tips wear in the spring and summer, the white speckles disappear, and they take on an all-iridescent purple/black appearance. Their bills also change color: from grayish in the fall, to yellow in the spring. Females and males model the same colors.

Behavior

Starlings are renowned mimics, not only imitating the calls of other birds but also the sounds of ringing phones, family pets and sounds heard around the farm!

Diet

Their diet includes insects, and all the bird seed and suet they can find.