Smaller than blackbirds, with a short tail, pointed head, triangular wings, starlings look black at a distance but when seen closer they are very glossy with a sheen of purples and greens.
Their flight is fast and direct and they walk and run confidently on the ground. Noisy and gregarious, starlings spend a lot of the year in flocks.
Still one of the commonest of garden birds, its decline elsewhere makes it a Red List species.
In the winter months, at dusk, Starlings gather together in huge clouds over their roosts and swirl around in what we call “murmurations”. This is an incredible spectacle and you can see them at this time of year at Fairburn Ings on the edge of Leeds.
- What does “gregarious” mean?
- Find out what a “Red List species” is.