Date of this Version
The European Starling, Sturnus vulgaris, began the invasion of California from the north and east as early as the late 1930's. In the winter of 1954, 20,000 of these birds were reported spending the winter in or near the Sonoma, Mendocino Coast. Then in 1961, Walter Ball, at that time the Chief of the Bureau of Rodent and Weed Control in Sacramento, in a talk to the Agricultural Commissioners at the Spring Convention, stated Starlings had been reported from nearly every section of California. In reviewing Walter Ball's paper given at that time, it is somewhat surprising how accurately the predictions he made have come true. It was about this time that we in Sonoma County began to observe Starlings nesting in Oak trees in the Santa Rosa Plains. So in cooperation with the State Department of Agriculture and the University of California at Davis, we began a small trapping and banding program, but mostly observation and study. It soon became apparent that we were faced with two different situations; the migrating Starling and the resident population.