Category: Eurasia

The population decline of the starling, Sturnus vulgaris, in GreatBritain: patterns and causes

Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) Science Article 9 abstract Although the starling has the capacity for explosive population growth, its population in Britain has declined bytwo-thirds over the last 40 years. Here we summarize a major study (Crick et al., 2002) which investigates the reasons for this.The starling is commonest in urban and farmland habitats, though density […]

Population trends of the Finnish starling Sturnus vulgaris, 1952-1998, as inferred from annual ringing totals

Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) Science Article 3 abstract Finnish starling populations have declined, a phenomenon first noted towards the end of the 1970s. Here we use national ringing totals to estimate changes in the starling population. However, the numbers ringed depend not only on the population size but also on yearly variations in ringing activities. Thus, […]

Predator detection and avoidance by starlingsunder differing scenarios of predation risk

Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) Science Article 5 abstract Practically all animals must find food while avoiding predators. An individual’s perception of predation risk may depend on manyfactors, such as distance to refuge and group size, but it is unclear whether individuals respond to different factors in a similarmanner. We tested whether flocks of foraging starlings responded […]

The implications of nest site competition from starlings Sturnus vulgaris and the effect of spring temperatures on the timing and breeding performance of great spotted woodpeckers

Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) Science Article 2 abstract A long-term study of the breeding success of an increasing population of great spotted woodpeckers in southern England has shown that nest survival has increased dramatically and the nesting season advanced over the last 20 years. Nest site interference by starlings was frequently observed in the early years […]

Spring temperatures and laying dates of first eggs of three passerines in Croatia

Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) Science Article 17 abstract This study is based on the spring temperaturesand laying dates of first eggs of threepasserines (sedentary: Great Tit, Parus majorand Tree Sparrow, Passer montanus; migratory:Starling, Sturnus vulgaris). Laying datesof first eggs were used as estimates of timingof breeding. The term ‘laying date’ is definedas the date of laying […]

Nest hole age decreases nest site attractiveness for the European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris).

Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) Science Article 14 abstract I studied whether the European Starling Sturnus vulgaris has a preference for a particularage of their nesting hole in an old deciduous forest in Central Poland. I documented theprobabilitythat Starlings bred in natural holes (excavated byGreat Spotted WoodpeckerDendrocopos major) of a known age in consecutive seasons. Occupation rates […]

The effect of sward height and drainage on Common Starlings Sturnus vulgaris and Northern Lapwings Vanellus vanellus foraging in grassland habitats

Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) Science Article 16 abstract Agricultural change is often cited as a causal factor in the decline of the UK’s farmland birds because bird declines have mirrored changes in agricultural practices. Although much is known about the mechanisms driving population declines on arable systems, mechanisms in grassland systems are relatively poorly studied, despite […]

Temporal and sequential organization of song bouts in the Starling

Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) Science Article 12 abstract Temporal analysis of Starling song revealed that males sing very long and complex song bouts, some extending over one minute and containing over ninety song bouts. Starlings sing with immediate variety. There are clear differences in average bout length and in singing rate between males. Starling song bouts […]

Parasite defence in birds: the role of volatiles

Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) Science Article 8 abstract European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) mix fresh herbs, preferably species rich in volatile compounds, into their drynest material. By investigating air samples from starling nest boxes, we found that nestlings and their parasites encountervolatile compounds such as sabinene, myrcene, limonene, phelandrene and ocimene, some of them with medicinal properties.We […]

Social experience, vocal learning and social cognition in theEuropean starling, Sturnus vulgaris

Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) Science Article 10 abstract European starlings are well known for their rich and varied social life. Recent studies reveal a social organizationbased on same-sex preferences, spatial proximity and vocal sharing in captive groups. Much less is known about socialcognition and the possible role of social experience on the development of cognitive abilities. […]