Tips For Identifying Starlings Throughout The Year

If you want to photograph starlings, have a read of this useful article.

| Arena D+ 10x50 B in Animals / Wildlife

Tips For Identifying Starlings Throughout The Year: Starling 1

Picturing the changing feathering of the starlings

The starlings undergo a complete molt every year. Their plumage also changes again and again throughout the year.

A starling’s year revolves around a single fixed period: the breeding season (May and June). Once this strenuous time is over and the chicks have safely left the nest, the adult birds get some time to renew their plumage. In other words, the molt begins. The worn feathers of an entire year are completely renewed. The new feathers are dark with a white tip and look the same in males and females. Those white tips result in the starling’s early winter feathering: dark with white dots.

Now the mysterious part begins! The bird loses more and more white dots over the year! Shortly before the mating season, the starling gets a completely dark plumage with green or violet glimmer. How is that possible?

Tips For Identifying Starlings Throughout The Year: starling 2

The answer is simple: the wear. After all, one cannot run around the countryside for a year in a shimmering ball gown without dirtying the dress. The birds move, rub against trees and shrubs, and are exposed to wind and weather. As a result, the white tips of the feathers are gradually worn out. Once almost all the white dots are gone, the "real" plumage with its green or violet tint is much more apparent. The sunlight can make it brighter when it is not scattered by the white dots.

The breeding season begins at this stage of the year. Once it's over, the molt starts again and the cycle goes on.

The starling’s beak also undergoes some changes throughout the year. The nearer the breeding season, the more sex hormones the starling produces. This ensures that the beak goes from black in winter to yellow-white during mating time. This color change also helps distinguish males from females. The male gets a bluish spot at the base of the beak while the female gets a reddish one.

Spot starlings easier with Eschenbach binoculars 

Eschenbach deals of the week

See Eschenbach's catalogue of binoculars

Buy Now

Amazon UK Logo

We don't have the latest price however the link below will take you to the most relevant items.

Eschenbach Arena D+ 10x50 B SEARCH
Amazon US Logo

We don't have the latest price however the link below will take you to the most relevant items.

Eschenbach Arena D+ 10x50 B SEARCH
MPB Logo

We transform the way that people buy, sell and trade in photo and video kit.


Support this site by making a Donation, purchasing Plus Membership, or shopping with one of our affiliates: Amazon UK, Amazon US, Amazon CA, ebay UK, MPB. It doesn't cost you anything extra when you use these links, but it does support the site, helping keep ePHOTOzine free to use, thank you.

View Directory Page : Eschenbach Binoculars

Other articles you might find interesting...

Top Quick Tips On Photographing Ducks
How To Photograph Animals In UK Wildlife Parks
4 Top Cat Photography Tips
Why Use A Telephoto Lens For Wildlife Photography?
Basic Butterfly Photography Tips
Photographing Dragonflies And Damselflies
How To Stop Wire Fences Ruining Your Wildlife Shots
4 Top Tips On Photographing Dogs At The Beach

There are no comments here! Be the first!


You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join for free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.