European Starlings

Two mounted starlings perch on a branch


Aves Passeriformes Sturnidae
Sturnus Vulgaris
European Starling

Yes, this is a starling. When was the last time you saw one? About 20 minutes ago maybe? While their Latin name even implies “pest” these birds are actually quite beautiful and intelligent. These are the European Starlings and were lovingly brought to this country by intention in the 1900’s by Eugene Schieffelin who released 60 of them in Central Park in an effort to establish all bird species listed in the works of Shakespeare in the new world. Thanks to Eugene there are now over 200,000,000 of these cutie pies in the United States!
There are now three species of bird in the United States that can be killed indiscriminately without repercussion; the Rock Dove (pigeon), the House Sparrow, and the Starling. While there may be a boisterous population in the US (almost to uncomfortable standards) it should be remembered that the extinct species Passenger Pigeon was once in this same position. Remember too, that the last one died here in Cincinnati. They were once considered to be the most numerous bird in the world, reduced to one small bird named Dolly in the Cincinnati Zoo. In fact the European Starling has had its numbers reduced by 50% in parts of Europe. In the UK it has now been red listed due to a drop in population by 80% since the 70’s. People may hate them now, but stranger things have happened. Population control is fine, but wholesale mass destruction can wipe out any species, no matter how numerous.




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