Chesapeake Bay Introduced Species Database


Sturnus vulgaris

Common name(s):
Common Starling
He said he would not ransom Mortimer;
Forbad my tongue to speak of Mortimer;
But I will find him when he lies asleep, And in his ear I'll holla 'Mortimer!'
Nay,
I'll have a starling shall be taught to speak nothing but 'Mortimer,' and give it him to keep his anger still in motion.
-Henry IV, Part I, William Shakespeare


This quote inspired Eugene Schieffelin to release 80 Starlings in Central Park, New York in 1890. It was part of a plan to introduce into the US all the birds mentioned in Shakespeare's plays. Starlings are native breeders in Europe and central Asia, and migrate to Africa, Arabia, and India in winter. But nowadays they are one of the most common birds in urban areas and parks throughout the US. Starlings were first seen in Baltimore in 1906 and in Washington DC in 1916. It wasn?t long after introduction that the birds established breeding areas. Susquehanna Flats near Havre de Grace, MD, Port Tobacco in Charles County, MD, Annandale, VA on the Potomac River, and Hopewell, VA on the James River are major roosting sites.
Image courtesy of Dr. Dan Sudia, Florida Museum of Natural History.

Taxonomy:

Kingdom
Phylum
Class
Order
Family
Genus
Species
Animalia
Chordata
Aves
Passeriformes
Sturnidae
Sturnus
Sturnus vulgaris


Synonymy:



Potentially Misidentified As:



Common Names:

Common Starling; English Starling; Starling


Comments:



This data was last modified on Wednesday, July 17th, 2013.
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