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European Starling

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European Starling
European Starling, Adult - Lee Karney USDA, Agricultural Research Service.
Scientific Name: 

Sturnus vulgaris Linnaeus, 1758 (ITIS)

Common Name: 

European starling, common starling, English starling

Native To: 

Eurasia and northern Africa (Linz et al. 2007)

Date of U.S. Introduction: 

1890-91 (Cabe 1998)

Means of Introduction: 

Introduced by Eugene Schiefflin as part of a plan to introduce to the U.S. all birds mentioned in the works of Shakespeare (Cabe 1998)


Causes $800 million in agricultural damage annually (Linz et al. 2007)

Current U.S. Distribution: 
European starling populations have spread across North America making them common and widespread.


Cornell University. Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Love them or hate them, there's no doubt the European Starling is a wildly successful bird. A new study from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology examines this non-native species from the inside out. What exactly happened at the genetic level as the starling population exploded from just 80 birds released in New York City's Central Park in 1890, peaking at an estimated 200 million breeding adults spread all across North America? The study appears in the journal Molecular Ecology.

Distribution / Maps / Survey Status

Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology.

Note: Includes Sightings Map for observations (year-round, 2017-2022)


University of Georgia. Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health.

Selected Resources

The section below contains highly relevant resources for this species, organized by source. Or, to display all related content view all resources for European Starling.

IUCN. Species Survival Commission. Invasive Species Specialist Group.
Internet Center for Wildlife Damage Management.
See also: Birds for more fact sheets

Centre for Invasive Species Solutions (Australia). FeralScan.

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Galveston Bay Estuary Program; Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC).

Federal Government

Smithsonian Institution. Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce.

Smithsonian Institution. Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. Marine Invasions Research Lab.

USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

International Government

Centre for Invasive Species Solutions (Australia).

State and Local Government
Missouri Department of Conservation.
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.

University of Nebraska - Lincoln. Cooperative Extension.
Note: Economics of Damage and Control
Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology.
Note: Nesting Behavior
University of Michigan. Museum of Zoology.
Columbia University. Center for Environmental Research and Conservation.
Texas A&M University. AgriLife Extension Service.