Latin name - Sturnus vulgaris
Although still a common sight, Starlings has declined in numbers in recent years putting it, rather amazingly, on the RSPB's Red List. A gregarious bird, they spend much of the time in flocks, especially when they are not breeding. These flocks can be huge, many thousands of birds congregating together to feed; often the flocks combine to roost and have formed huge roosts of over 1 million birds. The United Kingdom population is swelled by winter visitors from Europe. Male and females are alike with a glossy, apparently black plumage, which on closer inspection is a mixture of iridescent blacks, purples and greens. The bill is yellow in summer but turns to dark grey in winter with the plumage gaining white speckles on the feather tips. The young are brown in colour with pale, cream throats and white speckled under-parts. They feed on insects, worms, berries, fruit and will happily raid a garden bird-table leaving it empty! Starlings are superb mimics imitating not only the songs of other birds but many man-made sounds such as telephones, door bells, whistles and alarms.