Starling with metallic sheen

The Metallic Starling is not often seen in CQ.

One of our birds is not often seen in our area, even though it is listed as being found in the tropical rain forests all the way along the Queensland coastal areas from Cape York to north of the Tropic of Capricorn.

It is much more common in the far north where I was able to take the attached photo.

Its shiny black feathers which reflect something like metal is no doubt the reason for its title, the Metallic Starling. Another distinguishing feature is its bright red eyes which stands out clearly. To many people it may be better known as the Shining Starling.

It is something similar in its habits to many of our migrants that fly into Australia to breed about early Spring, have their families and depart again around March.

These Starlings come south from New Guinea. Large breeding colonies take over areas in the Cape York Peninsular with a large number of nests all using the same tree.

Male and female are similar in appearance and colonies can be very noisy during breeding season.

Their favourite source of food is fruit and they seem to be quite sociable birds in that they did not seem to be stressed when approached, particularly when feeding.

There is another Starling which is found in Australia, the black all-over Common Starling, being a bird introduced well over a hundred years ago from Europe.

It was released in southern Australia but has now spread so widely through Victoria, New South Wales and into south eastern Queensland that it has become an utter pest.

Of course people are not happy having these birds nesting in roofs and awnings.

They can wreck a fruit crop and cause local birds to desert the area.

South Australia and Western Australia have tried to keep this species out.