The Violet-Backed Starling Is Like A Flying Amethyst

This beautiful violet backed bird native to North America looks like a gemstone flying in the air.

Starlings are really nice and common birds. But, you might have a different point of view if you are from North America.

These beautiful birds are native to North America and often find themselves in the nuisance category. The specie is pretty invasive and normally push out other native birds from the area.

Instagram | @jeff.meredith

Schieffelin who “brought natural disaster” to the U.S. is the one who is responsible for giving starlings a bad reputation in the U.S. after he unleashed 60 of the European birds upon New York City in a romantic but ill-advised attempt to introduce every bird mentioned in Shakespeare to the North American continent according to Smithsonian Magazine. The European starling persists while the magazine reports that fed-up residents and even the U.S. government tried to get rid of the invasive starlings with speakers that emitted owl calls, rockets, and electrified fences.

There can be found around 200 million European starlings on the North American continent now. They haven’t cultivated the best reputation since their introduction to North America. Sarah Zielinski of Smithsonian writes, “Starlings will bully other birds, kicking bluebirds, flickers, and woodpeckers out of their nests. They can consume whole fields of wheat and transmit avian, animal, and human diseases.” They are really a beautiful species of bird despite how annoying starlings may be.

Instagram | @zoo_snapper

You can look at the violet-backed starling if you are with starling prejudice. The males are fantastically iridescent, plum-colored plumage while the females are rather boring with their brown feathers and white bellies. (Dimorphism is the fancy scientific name for this, when males and females have very different physical characteristics.) According to eBird , bird enthusiasts and North Americans will have to travel to Africa to see these magnificent birds since the species is almost entirely endemic to the continent.

 These birds are congregate there in woodland parks, open woodlands, and riverine forests in order to take snack on fruit, berries, winged termites, and ants. You can see this African Violet-backed starling in Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden and the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, which are located in Ohio.

Instagram | @34strange

According to BirdLife international, Violet-backed starling populations are declining in the aggregate and the species is listed as “least concerned” because the species has an extremely large range and the population of Violet-backed starlings is not dying out at a high enough rates to be considered endangered or vulnerable.

Don’t do what Schieffelin did back in 1890 again and do not unleash these birds into the wild in North America as we already have 200 million starlings that cause enough trouble for us.

The Amethyst starlings can be seen in the woodlands and savannah forests of sub-Saharan Africa.

Instagram | @mike_strydom_photography

These birds eat anything and everything from insects to tree frogs, to fruits and berries. When they don’t have foods, they also tend to raid the nests of other bird species, stealing both nesting materials and hatchlings.

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