Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua


Starlings were originally introduced to help farmers control unwanted insects on livestock and in crops. However, in some areas they are now a pest causing damage to crops (e.g. grapes).

Scientific name: Sturnus vulgaris 
Other names: Common starling, European starling

New Zealand Status: Introduced
Conservation Status: Naturalised

Where they feed: Ground, shrubs and trees.
What they eat: Invertebrates, fruit, nectar

Garden types

Starlings are seen in about 50% of rural and urban gardens. If you live in an urban area and feed birds, you will have an even higher chance of finding them in your garden.

Garden location

Starlings are most likely seen in gardens on the lower North Island and in Canterbury on the South Island. They are least likely to be seen in gardens in the Northland, Auckland and Tasman regions.