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 colored.
- ‘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.’
- ‘Blackbirds, starlings, green finches, great tits, robins, collared doves and dunnocks are all included in Cumbria's top ten.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘Furthermore, in bluethroats, European starlings, and blue tits female choice for males with greater UV reflectance appears to favor structural plumage traits.’
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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