<< Previous Next >>

European Starling

European Starling
Photo Information
Copyright: Mario Belanger (EOSF1) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-11-17
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 40D, Canon EF 100-400 F4-5.6 L IS USM, ISO 400, B+W 77 010 UV-Haze 1 x
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/125 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-11-17 8:47
Viewed: 4560
Favorites: 2 [view]
Points: 60
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note [French]
A dozen or so European Starling came to the feeders this morning in their winter colors.

From: www.birds.cornell.edu

Beginning with 100 individuals introduced into Central Park in New York City in the early 1890s, the European Starling has become one of the most numerous birds on the North American continent. Its successful spread is believed to have come at the expense of many native birds that compete with the starling for nest holes.
Stocky, black bird.
Short, square-tipped tail.
Pointed, triangular wings.
Long pointed bill, yellow in breeding season.
Shimmering green and purple feathers in spring.
Size: 20-23 cm (8-9 in)
Wingspan: 31-40 cm (12-16 in)
Weight: 60-96 g (2.12-3.39 ounces)
Sex Differences
Sexes similar.
Song is a rather quiet series of rattles and whistled notes, often containing mimicry of other bird species. Flight call a purring "prurrp."
Conservation Status
Introduced into North America in the 1890s, the European Starling quickly spread across the continent. It is a fierce competitor for nest cavities, and frequently expels native bird species. It is believed to be responsible for a decline in native cavity-nesting bird populations, but a study in 2003 found few actual effects on populations of 27 native species. Only sapsuckers showed declines because of starlings, and other species appeared to be holding their own against the invaders. You can help scientists learn more about this species by participating in the Celebrate Urban Birds! project.
Other Names
Étourneau sansonnet (French)
Estornino pinto (Spanish)
Cool Facts
All the European Starlings in North America descended from 100 birds released in New York's Central Park in the early 1890s. A group dedicated to introducing America to all the birds mentioned in Shakespeare's works set the birds free. Today, European Starlings range from Alaska to Florida and northern Mexico, and their population is estimated at over 200 million birds.
Although the sexes look very similar, they do show some subtle differences. The male tends to be larger, more iridescent, and have longer throat feathers, but some females can be larger, more glossy, and have longer feathers than some males. During breeding when they have yellow bills, the base of a male's lower mandible is blue-gray, while the female's is pinkish. The male's eyes are a uniform deep brown, but the female has a narrow, lighter colored ring around the outer edge. In confusing cases, some males four years old or older can develop a faint ring in the eye, and some older females can lose it.
A female European Starling may try to lay an egg in the nest of another female. A female that tries this parasitic tactic often is one that could not get a mate early in the breeding season. The best females find mates and start laying early. The longer it takes to get started, the lower the probability of a nest's success. Those parasitic females may be trying to enhance their own breeding efforts during the time that they cannot breed on their own.

vanderschelden, Arjun, eqshannon, siggi, Miss_Piggy, jaycee, jconceicao, nglen, horia, boreocypriensis, matatur, flashpoint, Jamesp, Evelynn, angela926, MMM, anel has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekNature members may write critiques.
ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To boreocypriensis: Thanks Bayram!EOSF1 1 11-18 06:58
You must be logged in to start a discussion.

Critiques [Translate]

Hello Mario,
The posture and the depth of field are excellent as well as these specific metallic colors.
Technically well done. A good portrait of this European starling.

  • Great 
  • Arjun Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 358 W: 7 N: 1237] (7593)
  • [2008-11-17 9:06]

hi mario,
Amazing picture..perfect clarity and superb details

  • Great 
  • cako Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 485 W: 0 N: 772] (3395)
  • [2008-11-17 9:13]

Hi Mario
exellennt detail and sharpness
very naturel color
very well done.

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-11-17 9:17]

Hello Mario,
What a pity of the pole in the BG. The Starling is superb. Perfect sharpness and splendid clear colours. POV, DOF and composition are great.

You can surely change the poses in some minute ways as to show the different colours..In this glance one does not see as much of the green...hey..member back when I said it looked like US Army Colours? Still does!:-) Dress Greens they are called..

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2008-11-17 9:27]

Hello Mario,
At close-up this starling has wonderful plumage and fantastic color combinations. Very nice presentation. Excellent sharpness and goo composition!
Regards Siggi

Bonsoir Mario,

Excellente photo de cet étourneau. Splendides détails du plumage. Excellente netteté. Les couleurs sont vraiment très belles.
Bonne soirée,

Hello Mario
This is really a special and handsome looking bird. You have captured it in a most pleasant pose, displaying all its lovely features. The details of the plumage is excellently captured and displayed. Focus and sharpness is splendid, camera work just great! This afternoon I saw a bird posted by one of the fellow members and I thought it is just awesome, now I look at this photo and I think wow this is really awesome. This site is so wonderful and makes one so much aware of all the wonders of nature that one would not normally see, and your photograph is definitely one of those special ones. This is also one of those you appreciate more and more each time you look at it. This one really sticks to me. Thanks for sharing, this very admirable bird.

Salut Mario
Quelle culture ornithologique mais surtout quel superbe cliché!

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-11-17 10:36]

Hi Mario,

I have always thought the Starlings to be very beautiful. This one in winter plummage is stunning. You captured the metallic colors, the busy patterns of the face, wings and plummage, and the attitude of the bird perfectly. Superb details, background and composition.


Hello Mario,

Superb capture.
Focus and sharpness are fantastic.
Composition and sharpness are splendid.

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-11-17 11:03]

Hi Mario. As you well know i do like small song bird and spend a lot of my time taking pictures of them so may i say this is a excllent close up of this Starling. Your sharp focusing has given fine detail and true colours. with a very nice pose. Very well done TFS Nick.. I am going to put the beauty in my favorites list.

Merhaba Mario,hem çilli hem renkli kuşları nerden buluyorsun bilmiyorum ama iyi ki buluyorsun ve paylaşıyorsun.Nefis bir fotoğraf ve çok güzel bir kuş,ellerine sağlık :)

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2008-11-17 12:18]

Hi Mario

Another outstanding image here from you, my friend!
Beside the overall wonderful shot of this bird, it's the textures that take my mind away here. I especially feel ery much attracted to the small but very contrasting white "V"s from its torso :) What an intimate close-up!
Great job is every way!

Bravo and TFS

hi my friend mario,
After a weekly break which i underwent a surgical operation, i feel beter today to write something. your shot is excellent in all around.
TFS and cheers,


A beautiful Starling in fine form and colouration detail Mario, a typical "textbook" capture my friend, TFS indeed!

Ciao Mario, splendid bird with lovely details, great light and colors, perfect focus and excellent sharpness, very well done, ciao Silvio

bonsoir Mario,
surprenant pour moi le plumage de cet oiseau, capturé avec une grande attention et couleurs
bonne soireè sERGIO

  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2008-11-17 14:47]

Hello Mario

Excellent shot - great pose, BG, detail - pretty near perfect.


I think starlings are so beautifully marked. They look like some jewel encrusted objet d'art. I love it against the neutral background. Lovely work.

Evelynn : )

Hello Mario,
WOW! Amazing shot, superb sharpness, depth of field and details, beautiful colors, lovely light and great pose.

  • Great 
  • darwin Gold Star Critiquer [C: 259 W: 0 N: 403] (1401)
  • [2008-11-17 18:26]

Hi Mario
Stunning capture with lovely metallic color and fine details.
tfs jon

Hello Mario

I am n ot a big starling fan,but you always present them so beautifully,that I can admire their beauty.
The plumage is wonderful with lovely colour and detail.
Well composed in a natural setting.
Excellent POV and DOF.
Great job.


  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2008-11-18 0:42]

Hola Mario,
sensacional trabajo y fino plumaje,
excelente foco...
saludos amigo.

  • Great 
  • fiyo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1053 W: 5 N: 3475] (15161)
  • [2008-11-18 3:26]

Hello Mario,
Amazing detail with your perfect focus, outstanding exposure and very true colors.I like very much.TFS

  • Great 
  • MMM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1114 W: 0 N: 2546] (11425)
  • [2008-11-18 4:22]

Salut Mario
Excellente composition.Bon PDV et image bien en focus .Le detail du plumage est A1.J

Bonjour Mario,
Tu as une chance extraordinaire de pouvoir photographier de superbes oiseaux en "restant dans to fauteuil"!
Excellent rendu du plumage

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-11-19 13:09]

Fantastic shot of this beautiful Starling, Mario!
The sharpness and detail is incredible!
Very well composed.
Great DOF.

Well done,

p.s thankyou for your advice on using flash. I tried it out using the flash with low power and it worked really well! :-)
Trouble is, my 100-400mm is not working very well: it's really soft and I think it needs repairing! :-(

  • Great 
  • wuta Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 855 W: 2 N: 617] (2142)
  • [2008-11-25 11:11]

Hello Mario , Nicelly captures of this bird , great sharpnes compositie details light and bg , Greetings Teunie .

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2008-11-27 4:41]

Bonjour Mario,
Voilà un étourneau magnifiquement photographié. C'est un oiseau qui m'apparaît presque plus beau sur photo qu'en réalité, car nous ne voyons que rarement la beauté de son plumage avec autant de magnifiques détails.
Image très réussie.
Un grand merci

Calibration Check