Henry, the European Starling

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Page last updated: 6/13/24

Meet Henry the European Starling

Henry came to Tropic Zone in 2017 or 2018 as a rescue. He had been found as a chick with a broken wing. During his rehabilitation he bonded with humans and it wasn't safe for him to be released into the wild again. He wouldn't have the necessary skills to survive. In the wild Starlings have a lifespan of 2 - 3 years. Henry has been here at Tropic Zone for 3 years already and is starting to show his age. He no longer sings or talks like he used to.

Hands down, Henry's favorite thing in the world is his daily serving of mealworms. He gets 6 - 10 each morning and usually the same amount at night. Even if someone gives him worms at night, he will beg for another serving from someone else. We are rarely fooled, but once in a while he's lucky enough to convince someone that he hasn't had any and he will get a double serving.

Starlings are native to Great Britain and Ireland, but not North America. In 1890, about 60 Common Starlings were released into New York's Central Park. Another small group was released in Portland around the same time, but they did not survive. Since then, those 60 birds have created a population of over 150 MILLION birds. They are considered an invasive species and can quickly devastate crops of grapes, peaches, olives, currants, and tomatoes. In the United States, Starlings are not protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Millions are culled each year, but it has little effect on their overall population.

We lost Henry on December 12th, of 2021. He had been slowly declining and passed that afternoon. We're honored to have been able to share the fleeting time we had with him.
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