Starling, Tāringi

Sturnus vulgaris
Bird Songs
Starling 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. 

Find out more about common starlings

Adult common starling. Credit: Oscar Thomas.