Aug 06 2011
There are many kinds of starlings but not in the western hemisphere. The only kind we have is the European starling, introduced in New York’s Central Park in 1890.
Unfortunately they’ve given starlings a bad name. They spread across the continent in less than 100 years, displaced native cavity-nesting birds, and now boast a population of 200 million. They’re ubiquitous in cities, noisy, and oily-looking. There’s not much to love about a starling…
…unless it looked like this!
This is Hildebrandt’s starling (Lamprotornis hildebrandti), a native of Kenya and Tanzania. Like our starlings it lives in relatively open areas and nests in cavities. The male and female look alike and the young are dull brown.
If only our starlings looked like this, perhaps we’d like them better.
(photo by Noel Feans from Wikimedia Commons. Click on the photo to see the original)