They are about 220mm in size weighing about 73 -98 grams. established pest species around the world. The common starling is from Europe, North Africa and western Asia. Starlings For farmers, the common starling (Sturnus vulgaris) has been a useful introduction. Starlings are often referred to as the rats of the sky. In spring they seek nest sites and find gaps under the edge of the roofs of buildings. Sources of Household Pests, Insects When Beneficial Birds Become a Pest. Starlings are noisy and gregarious. Starlings love to eat leatherjackets, the larvae of craneflies or daddy longlegs, which are considered a pest to many: they eat plant roots and can damage crops and make lawns look unsightly. The construction of New Zealand buildings is such that they provide ideal entrance points to the warm dry eaves. They bring dirt, odour and noise to the buildings they infest. These birds will live in close proximity to man causing fouling of buildings, noise nuisance, infestations of insects and the risk of zoonotic (animal to human) infection with such diseases as ornithosis and salmonellosis. Bird pests common in New Zealand. European Starlings, an invasive species not native to the US, were first introduced to New York in 1890 as part of a misguided attempt to introduce every bird that William Shakespeare ever wrote about into the US. The name starling comes from the small white, green, blue flecks that can be seen on their backs - usually only in summer. Some farmers encourage starlings to prey on … The damage caused by adults in particular is noticeable by the windows they chew in the leaves. Pest birds include feral pigeons, starlings, gulls and sparrows. THE INVASION The European starling’s native range is Europe, southwest Asia and northern Africa. The starling was first introduced to New Zealand to get rid of pest insects in crops and on farm animals.They are recognisable by their awkward walk, hyperactive behaviour and random, mimicking song. Starlings migrate by day—their daily cycle is to leave at sunrise. Because the starlings have fewer natural predators here, they spread unchecked, damaging environments and bullying native birds. ... Prevention is the first step for controlling any pest and birds are no exception. These have a tendency to gather in large numbers and build nests in roofs and eaves. Adults are small being approximately 5-10mm long and greyish brown in colour whilst the larvae are creamy white. Recent studies have suggested that the number of resident starlings is in decline. Starlings often become a bigger urban pest in the colder months, as they move from rural trees to warm city buildings and stay throughout the winter. This is mainly a pest of ryegrass in particular with the larvae feeding within the grass stem whilst the adults feed on expanded leaves. The European Starling, also known as the Common Starling, is a small bird native to Eurasia, but introduced in South Africa, North America, Australia and New Zealand. It has also been introduced to Australia, New Zealand, North America and South Africa. Starlings are found throughout mainland New Zealand, except in densely forested or mountainous country. Common Bird Pest Issues: Starlings are often referred to as the rats of the sky. The common myna or Indian myna (Acridotheres tristis), sometimes spelled mynah, is a member of the family Sturnidae (starlings and mynas) native to Asia. Starlings have a black with green plumage with a purple iridescence and pale spots in the winter months. Characteristics. Around 1,000 birds were introduced to New Zealand from the 1860s to the 1880s. ... Starlings. 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