Nonnatives - Euopean Starling

European Starling - Sturnus vulgaris


Florida's Nonnative Wildlife. Species detail.

First year: 1920

Extirpated year:

Established status: Populations are confirmed breeding and apparently self-sustaining for 10 or more consecutive years.

Estimated Florida range: 67 counties  At least 10 years

Statewide trend: Stable

Threats to natives: Can be a serious competitor with native species for tree cavities, often aggressively evicting other species from cavities.

Species Account: The songbird was introduced into the United States from Europe in 1890. Its first appearance in Florida might have been around 1920. All 200 million North American European starlings are derived from 80-100 birds released in Central Park, New York City. It was not present south of Orlando before 1950, but it is now present statewide, where it is usually associated with disturbed areas created by man. It has a wide and adaptable diet. It is considered a nuisance species because of its gregarious behavior and tendency to roost and nest in buildings. Much effort is spent to control local numbers of roosting and nesting Starlings, but only with temporary success.

Habitats: Central or core urban area, Low density suburban development, areas peripheral to core urban areas, and small towns, Agricultural habitat

County First Year Extirpated Year Breeding status Notes
Northwest     At least 10 years  
North Central   At least 10 years  
Northeast     At least 10 years  
Southwest   At least 10 years  
South     At least 10 years  


Cabe, P. R. 1993. European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) In Birds of North America, No. 48 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.) The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA and The American Ornithological Union, Washington D.C.

James, F. C. 1997. Nonindigenous Birds. Pages 139-156 In Strangers Among Us: Impact and management of nonindigenous species in Florida. (Simberloff,D., D. Schmitz, and E. Wilson, eds.) Island Press, Washington D.C.

Robertson, W. B., and G. E. Woolfenden. 1992. Florida bird species: an annotated list. Florida Ornithological Society, Gainesville, Florida, USA.

Stevenson, H. M., and B. H. Anderson. 1994. The birdlife of Florida. University Press of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA.

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