European Starling

Sturnus vulgaris

European Starling, Sturnus vulgaris, photo © by Mike Plagens

Phoenix, Maricopa Co., Arizona, 16 April 2017.

European Starlings are abundant across North America including the Sonoran Desert in Arizona and Sonora. They forage especially in lawns, agricultural fields and orchards and so tend to be concentrated around human settlements. They eat a wide variety of foods including insects, fruit and grains. Starlings are great vocalizers and can do immitations of many other bird calls.

Saguaro Cactus nest holes, originally created by Gila Woodpeckers are often used by European Starlings to the detriment of many native species. Purple Martins for example have declined considerably in the Sonoran Desert possibly due to the resulting shortage of saguaro nest holes.

Year-round Resident - Some Migration. More abundant in winter

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More Information:

Sonoran Desert Field Guide
Sonoran Desert Places
Sonoran Desert Naturalist Home Page


Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 12 April 2005,
updated 17 Nov. 2018.