Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

 

Search in the Encyclopedia

Dieren en planten

Birds   Common Starling   Bird Protection   Warblers   
  • Dut: Spreeuw
  • Eng: Starling
  • Fre: Etourneau sansonnet
  • Ger: Star
  • Ital: Storno
  • Lat: Sturnus vulgaris
  • Fri: Protter
Common Starling, Jeroen Reneerkens (jeroenreneerkens@hetnet.nl)

Common Starling

Common starlings are very good at imitating. Sirens, car alarms, croaking frogs; just name it, they are likely to imitate it. However, that is not the only way they try to impress. Starlings seduce each other with long throat feathers. The males also decorate their nesting holes with flowers, leaves and buds to lure females. You find starlings everywhere. They forage on particularly on pastures and fields, where they pick all kinds of creatures out of the ground. During migration season, you can see enormous groups foraging for food. Fruit trees are also a favorite...

On Texel


On a single day, there can be many thousands of birds together on Texel. Large 'clouds' of starlings in formation flight are a common sight. In addition to other creatures, starlings also eat seeds and berries. In the dunes, they look for the ripe berries from the sea buckthorn and elder. They even like the over-ripe, fermenting berries. It is then not unusual to come across a drunken starling.
One of the very frequently visited sleeping areas lies in the reeds along the Horsmeertjes. Birds from Den Helder will even fly here for the night. However, in the winter, it is not unusual for a large part of the Texel starlings to fly across the Marsdiep to sleep in Den Helder. A good place for observing starlings during the day besides farmland is in the Slufter.

  • Street urchins
    Starlings, foto fitis, sytske dijksen

    The birds gather together when it is time to sleep. Thousands of starlings assemble at a common sleeping area. Just before it grows dark, one can observe (and hear) them as they join together, twittering away.

  • Did you know that...

    ... starlings don't use just any arbitrary green plant for their nests, but choose plants with a strong odor? This habit is found by other bird species that re-use their nest. Perhaps the aromatic plant functions as a repellent for parasites. The female first needs to approve the plant the male brings her before it is interwoven among the rest. Scientists think that the birds develop a preference for which plants to use from the time when they were young chicks in a nest.