Do Starlings Migrate? Explained In Detail

Do Starlings Migrate

The Sturnidae family of starlings, which includes 123 species and 35 genera, is one of the most diversified and extensively dispersed bird families in the world.

Starlings may be found throughout Europe, Africa, and Asia, as well as Polynesia, Melanesia, and Micronesia in the Pacific. Despite their broad distribution and abundance, do starlings migrate?

This is a difficult topic to answer because of the wide variety of starling species. The answer will vary depending on the specific starling species.

Ubiquitous starlings, which are common in the UK, are found as far north as the Arctic Circle in the summer, but migrate south during the winter months to central Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

The Rosy starling is another species of starling that travels great distances to breed.

A large percentage of starlings, on the other hand, choose not to move at all. Nearer the equator, you won’t find migratory starlings.

The starling family is so diversified that many people are surprised.

Even though the Common or European starling is one of the most common starlings in the world and is extensively spread, there are many others that are highly specialised for their habitat and survive in extremely small numbers, such as the Northern Starling.

Do Starlings Migrate To A New Location Each Year?

Typically, European or Common starlings move from their northern breeding regions to the UK and central Europe, the Mediterranean, the Middle East, Iberia, and North Africa, where they will nest and winter. 

As far north as the UK, common starlings are capable of wintering, thus it may be a matter of preference more than need.

Even while common starlings in the United States and Canada also migrate south in the winter, they don’t usually travel far.

Other starling species found further south do not migrate at all, if at all. Only the northernmost starling species have to migrate in the winter.

What Time Of Year Do Starlings Travel?

Around August or September, starlings begin their annual migration. Since starlings migrate from colder regions of Europe to the UK in the fall, starling murmurations occur around this time of year.

They will continue to move south, perhaps establishing in the Middle East (Mediterranean), Spain (Iberia), and North Africa (Africa).

It’s not apparent why certain starling populations migrate while others don’t, given that there are likely to be enough roosting places for them if they were to continue their journey south from the United Kingdom.

Starlings, on the other hand, are more likely to return to the same roosting place each year, which is why the UK is home to a number of notable starling roosting sites, such as Shapwick Heath in Somerset.

Do Starlings Move Long-Distance?

In winter, starlings from Russia and Scandinavia can travel as far south as Spain, North Africa and the Middle East.

The majority of starlings, on the other hand, only travel a small distance during their annual migrations.

Thus, numerous European starlings, also known as Common starlings, which are native to northern Europe migrate to the United Kingdom.

Is it True that Starlings leave Canada in the winter?

The common starling is not a native of North America; it was brought here on purpose in the 18th century.

They do move further south in the winter, but they don’t usually get to the farthest southern states in North America.

Is it True that Starlings fly to Africa?

Most of Africa’s starling species are indigenous, however certain populations of Common or European and small numbers of Rosy starlings winter in Africa.

Is it True that all Starlings Travel?

A starling’s migration habits are influenced by where it lives and the type of starling species its part of.

In the winter, starlings prefer temperatures at or near zero, which explains why they congregate so thickly in their roosts in the UK. 

In their host nations, most starlings stay permanently stationary and non-migratory.

In contrast, the European or Common starling, which is capable of breeding all the way up to the Arctic Circle, stands out. 

Migrating starlings may spend the winter as far north as the United Kingdom, which explains the huge number of wintering starlings in the United Kingdom.

Many of them go on to the Middle East and Africa after that. A large number of Common starlings may be found in the United Kingdom, where they both breed and spend the winter. 

Summer numbers of the Rosy starling in the United Kingdom are on the rise. When it comes to wintering, Rosy starlings are very migratory, preferring India and South Asia.

Although there are 123 species of starlings, the great majority of them live in one place year-round and make no attempts to migrate.

North American common starlings are quite similar and move only as far south as necessary to keep warm during the winter.

What do Starling Birds do during the Winter Months?

During the winter, starlings return to their roosts. A roost is a place where birds may stay warm during the winter months by huddling together in groups to keep warm in the cold.

Starlings are noted for their communal roosting habits, which may house hundreds of thousands of birds at a time.

A cubic metre of space may hold up to 500 birds! You’re more likely to encounter starling murmurations in the UK during the winter months when tens of thousands of birds gather in a whirling mass.

From October through March at the earliest, they are held. Roosting locations include deep woodlands, reed beds, and man-made buildings, such as the destroyed West Pier in Brighton.

Do Starlings leave the United Kingdom?

Common starlings in the UK do not migrate and roost locally during the winter months.

However, some of these species are immigrants from farther north, such as Scandinavia or Russia, who have settled in the United Kingdom.

However, only starlings from northern Europe are known to go thus far south, maybe as far as the Mediterranean or North Africa.

Most people do not leave the United Kingdom. It’s not uncommon for Common starlings to only move partially during their annual spring and fall migrations.


Most of these birds live here permanently. Every winter, however, this number more than doubles because of the influx of Eastern European migrants.

They are forced to travel west by the harsh weather conditions there.

Migrant starling flocks arrive along the east coast of England in October and November.

Nearly all of them have travelled across northern Europe before arriving in Belgium or the Netherlands and taking a flight over the North Sea. 

In 1997, a total of 409,000 starlings passed over Hunstanton in Norfolk, including 87,000 on October 16th.

For the most part, these birds will keep travelling west until they’ve covered the entire nation. Often seen in parks, reedbeds, and city centres, they join our native starlings to create massive flocks.

Starlings migrate to Eastern Europe in the spring, while our own resident birds establish nesting grounds here at home.

Holes carved into trees and structures serve as their breeding ground, where they lay 4–6 eggs each clutch.

The young birds stay in the nest for around 21 days before being fed by their parents for the final few days of summer before departing to join other flocks.

At last, I hope this article was informative enough for you. Thank You For Reading!

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