the european starling - an unwelcome guest
This species was introduced by a man named Eugene Scheiffer, someone who was intrigued by the works of Shakespeare. He wanted to bring all the birds Shakespeare mentioned in his plays into the United States . So Scheiffer intentionally released eighty starlings in New York City in 1890, then another forty in 1891. He had also introduced the starling into Ohio , but it failed to survive. The bird is native to Eurasia, but has now been brought into South Africa , Australia , North America, and New Zealand . The starling is probably one of the most familiar birds in the temperate regions. They are about 19-22 cm long and are a shiny black color splattered with white. The European Starling is a very noisy bird that even sounds the famous "wolf whistle." Starlings sometimes drive off native birds such as Bluebirds, Tree Swallows, and the Purple Martin. They are multiplying faster and faster. It is actually legal to kill these birds in the U.S. at any time because they pose such a big threat to songbirds. In some places, predators like the Peregrine Falcon have been introduced to prey on starlings and help reduce their population.