Playing The Long Game: Outdoor Photography With Telezooms

Photographing The Spotless Starling

Eschenbach share some tips on the habits and how to recognise a spotless starling.

| Arena D+ 10x50 B in Animals / Wildlife

Photographing The Spotless Starling: spotless starling

At first sight, the spotless starling looks fairly similar to its widespread relative the common starling but there are some fine differences.


As you may already know, the common starling plumage changes every year not because of molting but because the white tips of its feathers gradually wear off. Its winter plumage is covered by white spots which gradually disappear until the shimmering black gorgeous dress arises.

The spotless starling plumage works in a similar fashion but its white spots are much smaller and paler. It also only has spots on the tail and the belly, never on the head. The spotless starling gets entirely black with slights green and purple shimmers in spring and summer, the beak also becomes light yellow and the legs turn pink. During winter, beak and legs are dark colored.



The spotless starling has a much more restricted range compared to the common starling. It can be found in Spain and North Africa as well as in the Mediterranean islands of Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica.

Its ideal habitat combines trees with open terrain. It settles in olive groves, gardens, forest edges, plantations as well as smaller villages and settlements. Spotless starlings are gregarious and often form large flocks, sometimes mixed with common starling.


Behaviour and knowledge

The voice of the spotless starling is very similar to its common relative’s but it sounds sharper and louder.

They are non-migratory birds and only change location occasionally. They breed from April to June. In nature, they breed in tree cavities but in settlements and villages, they prefer nesting under roof tiles, in wall holes or nest boxes. The nest is built from various materials such as grass, animal hair and plants. Certain herbs are also added to the nest to keep it parasite free. The female incubates the eggs for about two weeks, after which the chicks remain in the nest for three more weeks.


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