While perched in groups by night, they can be vulnerable to owls, including the little owl (Athene noctua), long-eared owl (Asio otus), short-eared owl (Asio flammeus), barn owl (Tyto alba), tawny owl (Strix aluco) and Eurasian eagle-owl (Bubo bubo). World migration movements: Most South Africans migrate to the UK [map] The UK is still the favourite destination for migrants from South Africa. This is sometimes treated under the name. Each bird has its own repertoire with more proficient birds having a range of up to 35 variable song types and as many as 14 types of clicks. The common starling builds an untidy nest in a natural or artificial cavity in which four or five glossy, pale blue eggs are laid.  It started breeding in Iberia in 1960, while the spotless starling's range had been expanding northward since the 1950s. sanderlings, sandpipers, plovers, and more) start their migration.  Agricultural damage in the US is estimated as costing about US$800 million annually. Starlings are sedentary in western Europe, where large numbers gather from eastern Europe. Not all birds undergo such an immense trip to the northern reaches of the planet. Of the five starling species mentioned, it is the smallest. Since that period, South Africans still choose to immigrate to the country with an estimated 210,000 living there as at 2017.  Common mynas (Acridotheres tristis) sometimes evict eggs, nestlings and adult common starlings from their nests, and the lesser honeyguide (Indicator minor), a brood parasite, uses the common starling as a host. Numbers dwindled in the United Kingdom by more than 80% between 1966 and 2004; although populations in some areas such as Northern Ireland were stable or even increased, those in other areas, mainly England, declined even more sharply.  The spread of disease to livestock is also a concern, possibly more important than starling's effects on food consumption or transmission of disease to humans.  Non-lethal techniques such as scaring with visual or auditory devices have only a temporary effect in any case. This fact sheet can help birders learn more about these widespread birds, inclâ¦ In about 1830, S. v. vulgaris expanded its range in the British Isles, spreading into Ireland and areas of Scotland where it had formerly been absent, although S. v. zetlandicus was already present in Shetland and the Outer Hebrides. , Because of the damage they do, there have been attempts to control the numbers of both native and introduced populations of common starlings. Its song consists of a wide variety of both melodic and mechanical-sounding noises as part of a ritual succession of sounds. Depending on where you live yours could be either earlier or later. The male starling’s syrinx is around 35% larger than its female counterpart.  They chatter while roosting and bathing, making a great deal of noise that can cause irritation to people living nearby. This species is dark-brown in coloration but if the sun hits it right, can appear purple-green. Its spread in Fiji has been limited, and there are doubts about the population's viability. In smaller amounts, the droppings act as a fertiliser, and therefore woodland managers may try to move roosts from one area of a wood to another to benefit from the soil enhancement and avoid large toxic deposits. It also needed to be of low toxicity to mammals and not likely to cause the death of pets that ate dead birds.  Since then, despite some initial attempts at eradication, the bird has been expanding its breeding range at an average rate of 7.5 km (4.7 mi) per year, keeping within 30 km (19 mi) of the Atlantic coast. The common starling was first described by Carl Linnaeus in his Systema Naturae in 1758 under its current binomial name. Prey are consumed in both adult and larvae stages of development, and common starlings will also feed on earthworms, snails, small amphibians and lizards. Small; green gloss restricted to the head and lower belly and back, otherwise glossed purple. European, or common, starlings are habitat generalists meaning they are able to exploit a multitude of habitats, nest sites and food sources.  In 1968, the cost of cattle rations consumed during winter by starlings was $84 per 1,000 starlings and is proposed to be much more expensive today given an increase in current cattle feed costs.  Adult common starlings are hunted by hawks such as the northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) and Eurasian sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus), and falcons including the peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus), Eurasian hobby (Falco subbuteo) and common kestrel (Falco tinnunculus).  A proposed solution to this problem is use of less palatable feed by agriculturalists, perhaps relying on larger feed types or feed which is less favorable in composition to starlings. Common starlings have the physical traits that enable them to use this feeding technique, which has undoubtedly helped the species spread far and wide. The cost of living in the UK is also quite costly, and you should tally it â¦ The common starling has about 12 subspecies breeding in open habitats across its native range in temperate Europe and across the Palearctic to western Mongolia, and it has been introduced to Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United States, Mexico, Argentina, South Africa and Fiji. Nightingales are African migrants, they reach the UK in April from Europe so tend to arrive in the South Eastern part of the UK with their main breeding territory focusing on Kent, Sussex, Cambridgeshire, Hampshire, Wiltshire, Suffolk, Norfolk and Essex.  Another technique is to analyse the DNA of Australian common starling populations to track where the migration from eastern to western Australia is occurring so that better preventive strategies can be used. The Red-winged Starling is a fairly large starling and is unlike any other species in southern Africa as far as its plumage coloration goes: males are pitch black with bright red-brown wings; females are the same as males except their heads and necks are blue-gray. South Sudan, which does not feature in the Afrobarometer survey, has seen more than 2.2 million people flee into the wider region since the outbreak of civil conflict in 2013. The species has declined in numbers in parts of northern and western Europe since the 1980s due to fewer grassland invertebrates being available as food for growing chicks. This is due to increased muscle mass and enlarged elements of the syringeal skeleton. Hopefully this was a good introduction to the gorgeous assortment of starlings found in southern Africa and as I find and photograph more of these beautiful starlings, I will try to write up another post about them. 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