Starlings in Ireland
starling is one of Ireland's most common birds. At first glance
starlings look somewhat dull and drab however on closer inspection
they can have bright cream speckles (in winter) plus a wonderfully
iridescent plumage. They often congregate in large numbers and can
be quite noisy and raucous.
starling's long bill is yellow and the base is pink in females and
blue in males.
flying starlings have pointed, triangular wings and fly fast and
direct. When they come in to land they look a little like jump-jet
aircraft with slightly drooped triangular wings.
Name for Starling
Irish word for starling is Druid.
starling's diet is very varied. They feed in a wide variety of environments
including grassland in parks, gardens and farmland, but will also
feed in woodland.
will also feed on household scraps, scraps in the streets, and on
refuse tips. Starlings feed on a wide variety of both plant and
animal material. Natural food sources include fruits, cereals, seeds
and invertebrates. They are particularly partial to crane-fly larvae.
breed throughout Ireland in loose colonies in trees but are just
at home nesting in holes, cervices and attics in houses. Their nests
are made of plant material, lined with feathers, moss and wool if
available. Males often pair with a number of females at the same
lay four or five eggs per brood and occasionally produce a second
brood in the season. Following an incubation period of approximately
two weeks the chicks fledge after about three weeks. Adult starlings
feed their young on insects and, particularly on insect larvae.
flock of starlings is called a murmuration and in winter these gatherings
can number in excess of one million individuals. These murmurations
provide an amazing spectacle as huge numbers of starlings career
and wheel in an apparent co-ordinated manner suggesting that they
are operating with a single consciousness. Starlings murmurations
are one of natures most extraordinary sights.
is a YouTube video of a starling murmuration filmed on the Shannon
river. It has been viewed almost four million times.