New Zealand Status: Introduced
Conservation Status: Naturalised
Starlings were introduced in 1862 and are now widespread throughout New Zealand from sea level to about 1500m altitude, in open country and in urban areas. They are not usually found in native forests except for some nesting at forest edges.
Starlings nest in cavities including hollow trees, under house roofs, in letter boxes, and in crevices in cliffs and roadside cuttings. Their nests are usually made of dry grass lined with finer material.
Starlings mainly eat pasture invertebrates including earthworms, caterpillars, and spiders. They will take grain from chicken runs and, in urban areas, they will readily take food scraps. In NZ, starlings will also take nectar from flowers so its not unusual to see them with orange flax pollen on their heads.
© Geografpix Photography, Steve Reader