Starling, TāringiSturnus vulgaris
Bird SongsStarling call
New Zealand status: Introduced
Conservation status: Introduced and Naturalised
The common starling is one of New Zealand's most common garden birds and is easily recognised by its noisy, hyperactive behaviour.
Starlings are compact, with short tails and appear smaller than thrushes or blackbirds. They have iridescent purple and green feathers tipped with white spots, but appear black at a distance. Wing and tail feathers are blackish, edged with pale brown. Juveniles leaving the nest are pale greyish brown. Their eyes, placed far forward in the skull, give binocular vision.
Juvenile starlings are greyish-brown, paler under the chin, and can be mistaken for thrushes, cuckoos, and even waders. Look out for the characteristic starling shape and eye position.