One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A gregarious Old World songbird with a straight bill, typically with dark lustrous or iridescent plumage but sometimes brightly coloured.
- ‘Hundreds of species of birds, such as seagulls, herons, starlings, sparrows and many others, live or often visit mangrove forest areas.’
- ‘Pigeons are predominant, but, as you explore, you see sparrows and bluebirds and flickers and blue jays and wrens and kestrels and starlings and robins.’
- ‘Blackbirds, starlings, green finches, great tits, robins, collared doves and dunnocks are all included in Cumbria's top ten.’
- ‘Furthermore, in bluethroats, European starlings, and blue tits female choice for males with greater UV reflectance appears to favor structural plumage traits.’
- ‘For larger birds such as blackbirds, starlings and song thrushes that feed on insects, food found easily in the summer can be cut off as frost seals the ground.’
Old English stærlinc, from stær ‘starling’ (of Germanic origin) + -ling.
A wooden pile erected with others around or just upstream of a bridge or pier to protect it from the current or floating objects.
- ‘The starling is that portion of the pier which faces the direction of the stream, and acts like the cutwater of a ship.’
Late 17th century: perhaps a corruption of dialect staddling ‘staddle’.
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