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European Starling Sturnus vulgaris

Flight call description A soft, low, growling "whrrsh" is the primary flight call. A wide variety of other calls may be given in short flights, especially a husky, rising "djwai". In spring and summer, also regularly gives a descending, buzzy "djjjew" or a higher, more monotone "djjjee". Begging juveniles give a more drawn out version of this call.


Fig.1. New Jersey November 4, 2001 (MO).

"Whrrsh" call from bird in flight.



Fig.2. New Jersey 1998 (MO).

"Djwai" call from bird in flight.



Fig.3. New Jersey June 2, 2001 (MO).

"Djjjew" call from adult in flight.



Diurnal calling sequences:

1. New Jersey November 4, 2001 (MO). "Whrrsh" calls from flock in flight. Yellow-rumped Warbler calling in the background.

2. New Jersey November 4, 2001 (MO). "Whrrsh", "djwai", and other calls from perched birds. Purple Finch, House Sparrow, Red-winged Blackbird, and House Finch in the background.

3. New Jersey June 2, 2001 (MO). "Djjjew" calls from perched juvenile with one call from a flying adult.

4. New Jersey 1998 (MO). "Djwai" calls from bird in flight.


Similar species Distinctive. "Djjjew" call may be somewhat similar to Blue Grosbeak though usually distinctly longer, lower, and with a more muffled buzz.


Behavior Diurnal migrant but may begin its migration well before sunrise. Flight calls given by both perched and flying birds during the day. Mostly silent in migration flight.