European Starling, Sturnus vulgaris
European Starling, non-breeding plumage, 10/27/06, Arastradero
Fresh non-breeding plumage.
European Starling, breeding plumage, 4/1/05, Shoreline Park, Mountain View
The bird shown above and below is in breeding plumage, with the yellow bill and smooth black underparts. European Starling has only one annual molt, so is always in basic plumage. The breeding feathers are the same as the heavily spotted non-breeding ones, shown in their fresh form in the picture at the top, and somewhat worn (January and February) in a number of pictures below. The white spots and iridiscent linings wear off to create the smooth look.
European Starling, breeding plumage, 4/1/05, Shoreline Park, Mountain View
European Starling, 1/12/08, Morro Bay, San Luis Obispo Co
The bird above is in early January; the one in the next two pictures below has started a nest, in late February. Note the more worn feathers (fewer spots) and more extensive yellow on the bill of the bird below.
European Starling, 2/28/08, Arastradero Preserve
European Starling, singing male, 2/28/08, Arastradero Preserve
Below, another late February bird.
European Starling, 2/19/09, Rancho San Antonio, Los Altos
European Starling, adult at nest, 6/5/06, Hammonasset State Beach, Connecticut
A breeding plumage bird at the nest, in June, with full yellow bill and the spots all worn off.
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