Squirt- European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)


Squirt – European Starling
(Sturnus vulgaris)

Squirt came to us as a nestling with his eyes still closed in 2016. He cannot be released because he is an invasive species. In fact, we’ve only been allowed to keep Squirt as an educational ambassador to teach folks about invasive species. Yes, Squirt & the bazillion other European Starlings should not be in the U.S. & compete with our native woodpeckers, flycatchers, swallows, bluebirds, & martins for food & nest sites. Squirt’s ancestors got to this country thanks to a group of dedicated Shakespeare enthusiasts that wanted to introduce all the species that appeared in Shakespeare’s works to the United States. In 1890 they released 200 starlings in Central Park & did so again the following year. And from those 400 birds we now have a booming overpopulation of European Starlings across this country. Interestingly, starling populations in their native Europe have been in decline over the last 30 years. Our Squirt is much loved by our volunteers. He’s an excellent mimic & regularly giggles & says his name, holy cow, & several other words we are still trying to make out. He’s LOVES crickets & blueberries to go along with his usual diet.

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