Economic Importance for Humans: Negative
For the most part, the European Starling is a nemesis to the environment and especially to farmers. The most common problem caused by starlings are damage to crops and berries. When these birds are not eating pests, they in turn become pests and destroy farmers' crops. Another negative impact is driving out competitors. Because starlings are so aggressive and gregarious, they force out many native species. An overabundance of starlings causes a lack of avian diversity. Another economic concern of starlings is their causing human disease. Established roosts of starlings harbor diseases such as blastomycosis, beef measles, and histoplasmosis. All three of these are serious heath risks to humans. One last economic concern is starlings' presence at airports and especially on runways. Stray starlings that have wandered off onto airport runways have caused aircraft disasters. These starlings clog up engines, causing a shutdown of the plane and its eventual descent. Although starlings do perform some good deeds, they are for the most part a nuisance to our community. (Weber 1980; Craig and Feare 1999; "European Starling Facts" 2000; Kahane 1988).
Negative Impacts: injures humans (carries human disease); crop pest; causes or carries domestic animal disease ; household pest