Around 1,000 birds were introduced to New Zealand from the 1860s to the 1880s. Some farmers encourage starlings to prey on … Starlings migrate by day—their daily cycle is to leave at sunrise. The starling was first introduced to New Zealand to get rid of pest insects in crops and on farm animals.They are recognisable by their awkward walk, hyperactive behaviour and random, mimicking song. THE INVASION The European starling’s native range is Europe, southwest Asia and northern Africa. The European Starling, also known as the Common Starling, is a small bird native to Eurasia, but introduced in South Africa, North America, Australia and New Zealand. The common starling is from Europe, North Africa and western Asia. Starlings often become a bigger urban pest in the colder months, as they move from rural trees to warm city buildings and stay throughout the winter. It was introduced into North America, South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia because of cultural longings of new immigrants and false perceptions of biological control of insects (Adeney 2001). Starlings love to eat leatherjackets, the larvae of craneflies or daddy longlegs, which are considered a pest to many: they eat plant roots and can damage crops and make lawns look unsightly. The construction of New Zealand buildings is such that they provide ideal entrance points to the warm dry eaves. This is mainly a pest of ryegrass in particular with the larvae feeding within the grass stem whilst the adults feed on expanded leaves. Starlings are often referred to as the rats of the sky. Pest birds include feral pigeons, starlings, gulls and sparrows. They will travel up to 60 miles to feeding areas before returning to their nesting sites for the evening. It helps control unwanted insects, including ticks on cattle and sheep, and crop pests such as caterpillars and grasshoppers. Common Bird Pest Issues: Starlings are often referred to as the rats of the sky. These birds will live in close proximity to man causing fouling of buildings, noise nuisance, infestations of insects and the risk of zoonotic (animal to human) infection with such diseases as ornithosis and salmonellosis. European Starlings, an invasive species not native to the US, were first introduced to New York in 1890 as part of a misguided attempt to introduce every bird that William Shakespeare ever wrote about into the US. Characteristics. In spring they seek nest sites and find gaps under the edge of the roofs of buildings. The common myna or Indian myna (Acridotheres tristis), sometimes spelled mynah, is a member of the family Sturnidae (starlings and mynas) native to Asia. Recent studies have suggested that the number of resident starlings is in decline. These have a tendency to gather in large numbers and build nests in roofs and eaves. Starlings have a black with green plumage with a purple iridescence and pale spots in the winter months. Starlings For farmers, the common starling (Sturnus vulgaris) has been a useful introduction. Adults are small being approximately 5-10mm long and greyish brown in colour whilst the larvae are creamy white. Bird pests common in New Zealand. An omnivorous open woodland bird with a strong territorial instinct, the common myna has adapted extremely well to urban environments.. ... Starlings. Starlings are found throughout mainland New Zealand, except in densely forested or mountainous country. They bring dirt, odour and noise to the buildings they infest. The name starling comes from the small white, green, blue flecks that can be seen on their backs - usually only in summer. The damage caused by adults in particular is noticeable by the windows they chew in the leaves. Like most pests, birds are attracted to your property by food. Starlings are noisy and gregarious. 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