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Starlings

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 name starling comes from the small white, green, blue flecks that can be seen on their backs - usually only in summer.

They feed from the ground on a mix of worms, insects, caterpillars, grubs etc. They also eat fruit, nectar and grain. They feed, travel and roost in large flocks. They prefer to roost on power lines or in single trees to avoid predator birds.

Starlings are a major pest in vineyards and orchards and also around all buildings. As they feed in flocks they can very quickly ruin an entire crop. A sucessful way to deter starlings is to prevent them from landing. Starlings need a lot of energy just to fly - so if they are prevented from landing near a food source, they soon use up what energy they do have, and have to move off to other areas to feed, and if one goes, they all go.

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