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 European Starling

Status in Michigan

Early Spring Date

Late Fall Date
Note: Early and Late Dates are being researched.
Image Credits
Count totals in the NMB Databases for European Starling.

Use the links below to view the European Starling reports in the respective databases.
If there are zero sightings for a particular season, that database will return no results.

Active Database - Spring 2005
View European Starling sightings.
European Starling Archives Reports
Fall 2003 7032
Spring 2003 342
Winter 02-03 519
Fall 2002 1845
Summer 2002 17
Spring 2002 460
Winter 01-02 227901
Fall 2001 20097
Summer 2001 15
Spring 2001 270
Winter 00-01 2028
Fall 2000 4657
Summer 2000 1039
Spring 2000 500
Winter 00-99 120293
Fall 1999 250
Spring/Summer 1999 8

NMB Database
Seasonal Percentage Graph
For: European Starling

Whitefish Point Bird Observatory
Active Database - Fall 2003
View Fall 2003 sightings.
Whitefish Point Bird Observatory Official Seasonal Count Summaries for the European Starling
Fall 1999-Spring 2002
European Starling
Note: Some species will not be present in the WPBO archives and will return no records.

Search "The Birds of Michigan" text.

Home - Foreword - Preface - Introduction - Hypothetical List - Literature Cited

Historical Text
The Birds of Michigan - by: Norman A. Wood
Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, No. 75

Sturnus vulgaris vulgaris Linnaeus
Starling (A.O.U. 1998: European Starling)

Common resident in Lower Peninsula; abundant in the south, less common farther north.

First recorded for Michigan by R. Beebe (1925: 106).

EARLIEST APPEARANCES OF THE STARLING IN THE STATE.--Following its first appearance in Michigan (in the southeast during the spring of 1924), the Starling spread throughout most of the Lower Peninsula before 1928; and by 1931, it had been recorded at widely separated points in the Upper Peninsula.

Lower Peninsula.-K. Beebe (cited above) saw 2 Starlings at Belle Isle, "Wayne County, on May 10, 1924, and Swales (notes), probably referring to Beebe's observation, also recorded 2 seen there at that time. The same year, Swales himself saw a small flock near Ann Arbor in August; Claude H. Van Tyne, II, saw 10 Starlings there on September 14 and J. Van Tyne collected a specimen from the flock on September 17 (C. H. Van Tyne, II, 1924: 214). In November, 1924, "Walter E. Hastings noted a small flock near Milford, Oakland County; F. "W. Rapp examined a specimen brought to him on December 16, 1924, at Vicksburg, Kalamazoo County, and has recorded the species continuously present in that region since that time. Fargo identified a specimen found at Jackson on December 29, 1924. In 1925 Walter E. Hastings (1928: 218-19) found a Starling's nest in Oakland County, and the following year he discovered nests also in Genesee and Livingston counties. On June 3, 1927, Hastings saw a small flock at Bald- win, Lake County, and also recorded Starlings in more northern counties, namely, Charlevoix (on June 10 and 11), Cheboygan (on July 10), and Grand Traverse (on July 30).

Upper Peninsula.-Fargo and C. F. Walker (1928: 218) seem to have been the first to record the Starling there. They saw a flock of 79 near Sterlingville, Chippewa County, on September 2, 3, and 7, 1927. Bryens (1929&: 104-5) found a nest near McMillan, Luce County, on May 28, 1928, and Christofferson reported a flock of 10 at Munuscong Bay, Chippewa County, on November 9, 1928. H. E. Larsen (1931: 188) saw 7 Starlings near Quinnesec, Dickinson County, on April 14, 1931; and Leonard "Wing (1940: 189) noted the species at the following times and places: Bruce Crossing, Ontonagon County, on August 24, 1931; western end of Gogebic County on August 25, 1931; McFarland, Marquette County, on July 5 and 6, 1932; and Lake Superior State Forest, Luce County, on June 27, 1932.

PRESENT STATUS.-The Starling apparently now occurs throughout Michigan.

Lower Peninsula.-The data available are insufficient to indicate the extent of migration in the Lower Peninsula. An extensive migration (flocks of 7 to 14 birds) was observed on May 18,1933, by D. W. Douglass at Sand Point, Huron County. L. W. Campbell (1940: 131-32) has noted an apparent migration in the Toledo-Erie marsh area between late February and early April, and from mid-July to early November. And Trautman saw 1100 Starlings in the Erie marsh on September 13 and 14, 1932. Numbers of Starlings are found in the south in the winter; T. D. Hinshaw and L. D. Case recorded more than 500 near Ann Arbor on January 19, 1938, and on December 22,1931, Mrs. A. F. Kingsley and others (1932: 58) found more than 300 in the Battle Creek area. John L. George and Maurice G. Brooks saw flocks, sometimes numbering as many as 25, in Roscommon, Otsego, Clare, and Arenac counties in late January, 1941. Although the species is known to nest in practically every town and city here, detailed nest records are few. In recent years nests have been reported from areas some distance from human habitations; for example, A. E. Staebler and L. D. Case found 3 nests in the wilder parts of South Manitou Island, Leelanau County, in mid-June, 1940. The main nesting period apparently extends from the latter part of April to mid-July.

Upper Peninsula.-By the 1940's Christofferson found the Starling nesting every year at Blaney, Schoolcraft County; in 1941, he found a nest with 5 eggs on May 1. Brodkorb listed the birds as very common at Seney, Schoolcraft County, in the first half of June, 1938; J. Van Tyne saw a flock of 20 in the Huron Mountains, Marquette County, in late June, 1936, and John L. George and R. L. Patterson saw 8 Starlings at Golden Lake, Iron County, on July 29, 1938. It seems quite certain that there is a spring and fall migration in this peninsula. Christofferson regularly records the species at Blaney by mid-March or very soon thereafter; he saw 50 there, for example, on March 23, 1938. At McMillan, Luce County, Bryens has occasionally noted large numbers in the fall (650 seen on September 11, 1938; 1350 seen on September 12,2023). Christofferson saw 1 at Blaney on February 17 and 18,1937; and Bryens saw 4 on January 1, 1941, and 1 on January 2, 1935.

Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, No. 75
The Birds of Michigan
By: Norman A. Wood
University of Michigan Press
August 28, 2023

Digitized by: Keith F. Saylor
[email protected]

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