It helps control unwanted insects, including ticks on cattle and sheep, and crop pests such as caterpillars and grasshoppers. Because the starlings have fewer natural predators here, they spread unchecked, damaging environments and bullying native birds. Starlings are often referred to as the rats of the sky. They are about 220mm in size weighing about 73 -98 grams. Starling History in North America . Starlings love to eat leatherjackets, the larvae of craneflies or daddy longlegs, which are considered a pest to many: they eat plant roots and can damage crops and make lawns look unsightly. In spring they seek nest sites and find gaps under the edge of the roofs of buildings. Starlings have a black with green plumage with a purple iridescence and pale spots in the winter months. They will travel up to 60 miles to feeding areas before returning to their nesting sites for the evening. European Starlings, an invasive species not native to the US, were first introduced to New York in 1890 as part of a misguided attempt to introduce every bird that William Shakespeare ever wrote about into the US. It was introduced into North America, South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia because of cultural longings of new immigrants and false perceptions of biological control of insects (Adeney 2001). Adults are small being approximately 5-10mm long and greyish brown in colour whilst the larvae are creamy white. Bird pests common in New Zealand. Some farmers encourage starlings to prey on … Sources of Household Pests, Insects When Beneficial Birds Become a Pest. ... Prevention is the first step for controlling any pest and birds are no exception. The European Starling, also known as the Common Starling, is a small bird native to Eurasia, but introduced in South Africa, North America, Australia and New Zealand. established pest species around the world. These have a tendency to gather in large numbers and build nests in roofs and eaves. THE INVASION The European starling’s native range is Europe, southwest Asia and northern Africa. Pest birds include feral pigeons, starlings, gulls and sparrows. It has also been introduced to Australia, New Zealand, North America and South Africa. The construction of New Zealand buildings is such that they provide ideal entrance points to the warm dry eaves. 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. Starlings are noisy and gregarious. Around 1,000 birds were introduced to New Zealand from the 1860s to the 1880s. Starlings often become a bigger urban pest in the colder months, as they move from rural trees to warm city buildings and stay throughout the winter. Characteristics. Common Bird Pest Issues: Starlings are often referred to as the rats of the sky. The damage caused by adults in particular is noticeable by the windows they chew in the leaves. ... Starlings. This is mainly a pest of ryegrass in particular with the larvae feeding within the grass stem whilst the adults feed on expanded leaves. The common myna or Indian myna (Acridotheres tristis), sometimes spelled mynah, is a member of the family Sturnidae (starlings and mynas) native to Asia. An omnivorous open woodland bird with a strong territorial instinct, the common myna has adapted extremely well to urban environments.. The name starling comes from the small white, green, blue flecks that can be seen on their backs - usually only in summer. These birds will live in close proximity to man causing fouling of buildings, noise nuisance, infestations of insects and the risk of zoonotic (animal to human) infection with such diseases as ornithosis and salmonellosis. 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