A wide variety of food is eaten by the European starling, such as insects and grains, as well as items from bird tables, rubbish dumps, the seashore and sewage farms (5). The beak is well adapted for probing the soil, and leatherjackets (cranefly larvae) are a major source of food (8).
The European starling is a gregarious bird; this is particularly in evidence during winter, when individuals feed in flocks and often roost in huge numbers (5). Towards dusk, enormous flocks often form near the roost sites, with birds preening, singing and resting before flying into the roost. This is often a spectacular sight, involving a swirling aerial display of the co-ordinated movements of a huge number of European starlings (5).
During the breeding season, the nest, an untidy pile of twigs, grasses, moss, wool and feathers, is made in a hole, typically in a building or a tree (9). The male begins nest construction, but the female completes it (6). After mid-April, five to seven bluish eggs are usually laid, although up to nine eggs have been known in a clutch (6). Both parents incubate the eggs for up to 15 days, they then feed the chicks for 20 to 22 days (6). After fledging, the juveniles are often seen following their parents as they feed, begging for food (2).