Projektin Invasive Species in Nova Scotia Päiväkirja

25. marraskuuta 2021

The European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)

The European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) is an invasive species that is native to Europe. It was intentionally introduced in 1890 to New York City’s Central Park by the America Acclimatization Society. They released 100 birds to Central Park with the hopes of introducing the many bird species that were mentioned throughout Shakespeare’s works and seeing them represented in North America [1].

Since their introduction, the European Starling has become widespread across North America, ranging from Mexico all the way up to the Northern treeline in Canada. Already by 1950 they had spread across the North American continent and reach the Pacific Coast. They prefer open regions such as fields, pastures, lawns, marshes, and shorelines, and so, they can be found in both rural and urban settings.

Starlings are aggressive cavity nesters who live in enormous flocks, outcompeting native cavity nesting birds for nest sites. Starlings typically build nests in tree holes, nest boxes, openings in building walls, cliff crevices and rural mailboxes. They often form roosts under bridges, on ledges, or in trees. The combined weight of the birds has been known to break branches of trees. As a stewardship action to reduce this invasive alien species impact, you can repair and seal and exterior cavities where birds can nest, with openings like vents that can’t be sealed the openings should be covered with wire mesh.

European Starlings have short stubby tails and triangular wings. They are generally described as “chunky” and humpbacked birds. As adults they range 19-23cm in length with a wingspan of 31-44cm. Breeding starlings have glossy black plumage with purple and green reflections, yellow ills, and reddish brown legs. In the Fall, Starling’s bills become darker in colour and white spots develop on the body feathers.

European starlings are omnivores, feeding mainly on insects and fruit, but will also forage on human food waste and on agricultural crops [1]. For this reason, as another stewardship action, you can eliminate anthropogenic food sources which includes bird feeders for other species.

A fun fact about European Starlings is that they are excellent vocal mimics and can mimic the song of up to 20 different bird species.

  1. New York Invasive Species (IS) Information. European Starling. Updated: May 31, 2021 [accessed September 10, 2021]. Retrieved from:

Lähetetty 25. marraskuuta 2021 17:45 käyttäjältä jgilice1 jgilice1 | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

25. kesäkuuta 2021


Welcome to our iNaturalist project! We are the Nova Scotia Invasive Species Council (NSISC), and we aim to raise awareness and promote a coordinated response to the threat of invasive species in Nova Scotia. Our Steering Committee is comprised of volunteers from a variety of academic, government, and non-government organizations. The NSISC builds on the experience of the former Invasive Species Alliance of Nova Scotia (ISANS), which was based at Acadia University from 2007-2012. The NSISC is a recognized provincial chapter of the Canadian Council on Invasive Species.

As a member of this project you are a community scientist, and a valuable asset to the NSISC. You’re probably wondering, what is a community scientist and how do I fit into this role? A community scientist, or citizen scientist is a member of the general public, who helps scientists by contributing to research projects. When you report an invasive species to our iNaturalist project, you become part of the citizen science community.

Community scientists are important members of the science field, as they play a key role in broadening research projects. They are valuable to the NSISC because they help identify new invasive species that may be established in Nova Scotia. Thus far, we have 74 species that have been identified in our iNaturalist project and over 4000 observations have been reported.

We will be featuring a new species in each journal entry to provide our valued members with a better understanding of the species they have been reporting. We thank you for your observations and for contributing to the NSISC iNaturalist project.

If you are interested in learning more about the NSISC you can check out our website- or subscribe to our email list to receive our quarterly newsletter:

Are there any species that you would like to see featured in our journal? Let us know in the comments!

Lähetetty 25. kesäkuuta 2021 11:08 käyttäjältä jgilice1 jgilice1 | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti