Sturnus Linn., Syst. Nat., 10th ed. i, p. 85 (1758). Type, Sturnus vulgaris.
The genus Sturnus contains the true Starlings, which have a very wide distribution and are familiar and well known birds wherever they occur. They may be recognized by their bright plumage, which is glossed with red, purple and blue and by the hackled feathers of the head, throat and breast. The genus Sturnus has a Winter and Summer plumage, the change being caused by the abrasion of the buff tips to the feathers; the colour of the bill also changes according to the season. The young are boldly streaked below and the sexes are alike.
In this genus the bill is as long as the head, broad, blunt and straight. The nostrils are covered by a membrane, which is feathered on the posterior half; the wing is very pointed and the tail short and square.