A Report on a preliminary study of the foraging behavior of starlings in central Ohio farm areas
Creators:Walinski, Barbara L.
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences Honors Theses; 1978
Differences occurred in the foraging behavior of the starling (Sturnus vulgaris) relative to foraging sites and domestic animal associations. Starlings select insects over vegetative matter. When insects become scarce in winter months, starlings change from flock-foraging behavior to foraging in farm yards where livestock stir up insects from the soil. Starlings will follow pigs when insects are forced deeper into the soil by frost. Pigs root up insects, so starlings have a supply of insect food in winter months that would otherwise limit their diet to vegetative matter. This information may be pertinent to the wildlife manager as he/she revises methods for controlling starling populations. This factor is a sufficient reasons for starlings to stay in farm areas. Further research can be conducted to find a means to control the starling by controlling the food supply. Considerations for further research are presented, with the role of the E/(Th + Ts) value (Charnov, 1976) discussed.