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European Starling

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.

European Starling
Image use policy

European Starling, Adult


Lee Karney USDA, Agricultural Research Service.

Find more images


  • Starling Success Traced to Rapid Adaptation

    • Feb 9, 2021
    • 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

Selected Resources

The section below contains highly relevant resources for this species, organized by source.

Federal Government
International Government
State and Local Government