Habitat. You can't just release one back into the wild if you tire from taking care of it. While not sold in pet stores, orphaned wild birds adopted by humans can make surprisingly good pets that are devoted to humans and capable of learning speech. Remove uneaten foods after one hour to prevent spoilage. Alyson is a freelance writer with more than 10 years of experience working professionally with birds, and over 3 years as a veterinary technician. The Spruce Pets uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. Common prey include grasshoppers, beetles, flies, caterpillars, snails, earthworms, millipedes, and spiders. Wild populations of European starlings live in every continental U.S. state and Canadian territory. Be mindful that wild starling droppings can cause some diseases that cause illness in humans, including salmonella, histoplasmosis, and several other bacterial and viral infections. Commercially prepared bird diets, even those meant for songbirds, are not nutritionally adequate for starlings. If you want one, your best bet is to talk to rescues, vets that treat wild birds, and exterminators during the springtime when these birds are nesting. To make a room bird-safe, remove toxic plants, turn off ceiling fans, close doors and windows, cover the fireplace, and do not allow any other pets in the room. Starling owners need to realize that wing clipping is not an option for these birds. The European starling, or the common starling, is one of the most widely distributed wild birds in North America. Pet European starlings are known for bonding closely with their caretakers and seeking them out for companionship. Starlings will eat nearly anything, but they focus on insects and other invertebrates when theyre available. Starlings raised by humans have no idea how to relate to other birds and will be clueless as to how to hunt for food. The healthiest and longest-lived pet starlings eat a mixture that must be prepared by their owners. Most pet starlings are orphaned wild babies that were rejected or fell from their nests. Keep starlings in an area where there is a lot of human activity. Ideally, the cage or enclosure should be large enough to provide the bird with much-needed flight space. The most common illness that affects starlings is hyperkeratosis, which appears linked to a low-iron diet. Their legs are pink. According to some, starlings can talk better than parrots. Provide plenty of leaves and small twigs for the birds to peck and shred; this will help keep them engaged. Starlings do acceptably well in a large parrot cage or small aviary, but an entire room is a better setting. During the spring and summer months, the feathers on their head and chest take on beautiful iridescent hues of purple and green. The ratio for this mixture includes 2 cups of soaked dry dog or cat food and 1/2 cup of poultry mash (or softbill pellets). Find out more about what this bird likes t… Although wild birds, they are easy to tame and keep as pets. As a treat in a separate bowl, you can offer the following fruits: figs (considered a superfruit for its extremely high nutritional content), berries, grapes, or cherries. Starlings produce very loose droppings that can be extremely messy in a cage or aviary. European starlings are accomplished mimics, often copying songs or sounds of other birds and animals (frog calls, goats, cats), or even of mechanical sounds. Starlings are very curious, smart, and interactive. By using The Spruce Pets, you accept our, These Are the Most Uncommon Pet Birds, Flighted and Flightless, 5 Vitamin-Rich Foods You Can Feed Your Bird, Where to Adopt or Buy a European Starling, More Pet Bird Species and Further Research, Bourke's Parakeet (Parrot): Bird Species Profile, White-Capped Pionus: Breed Species Profile, Plum-Headed Parakeet: Bird Species Profile, Crimson (Pennant) Rosella: Bird Species Profile, Australian (Green-Winged) King Parrot: Bird Species Profile. Learn how to create a happy, healthy home for your pet. Starlings do not climb as parrots do, so most of their activity comes from free flight. If kept in a smaller cage (minimum size: 3 feet square), be prepared to give the bird a couple of hours of supervised exercise time in a bird-safe room each day out of the cage. If you choose to care for a starling, you will need to understand that you are making a long-term commitment. Starlings are active, social birds that seemingly enjoy spending time with their owners. Most pet starlings are young orphaned birds that are found and adopted by humans. While the Migratory Bird Treaty Act protects wild birds from human interference, the European starling is one of three species excluded, since it is an introduced species and not a native one. It took several tries, but eventually the population took off. An overgrowth of keratin can affect a bird's feathers, wings, feet, legs, beak, and nails. Obtaining a starling can be difficult, you cannot commonly buy this species in pet stores or through breeders. Starlings can live for up to 20 years. These are intelligent birds that need a lot of mental stimulation. Owners need to frequently clean the cage throughout the day. It is an extremely adaptable species with North American estimated to have more than 200 million starlings—all of them thought to have descended from a flock of 100 birds released in New York's Central Park in 1890. Starlings are every bit as intelligent as other more common pet bird species and can learn to talk. All the European Starlings in North America descended from 100 birds set loose in New York's Central Park in the early 1890s. Starlings are native to Europe and came to North America during the late 1800s. Origin. European starlings are well adapted to living in a variety of environments. It is an extremely adaptable species with North American estimated to have more than 200 million starlings—all of them thought to have descended from a flock of … There is no federal law preventing people from keeping starlings as pets but check with state and local wildlife regulatory agencies to learn about any local laws. Sweet, affectionate disposition, easy to tame, Intelligent, can learn to speak and do tricks, Requires large cage or aviary and couple hours of exercise, Cannot find for sale in pet stores or breeders. For vegetables, you can provide sweet potatoes, carrots, beets, turnips, green beans, corn, tomatoes, and peas. They can obey commands, talk, and even perform tricks. In the wild, the European starling is a softbill species that typically eats soft foods such as insects, flowers, and buds.

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