They are 7 1/2"–9" long, and can be recognised by their pointed wings and short tail when flying. At first sight they appear to be plain black, but the feathers catch the light and may appear iridescent green or purple.
Starlings can rear up to two broods a year, in April and May. Each clutch usually consists of 4–6 eggs, the young staying in the nest for about 3 weeks.
Breeding can extend into June and July if conditions are favourable.
The concentration of droppings from a large roosting flock provides a good medium for pathogenic fungi, some of which can be harmful or even fatal to humans.
It is an agricultural pest of standing crops, but will also flock into cities in large numbers.