The bird (Sturnus vulgaris) is one of the most common in the world. It has a body length of 19 to 22 centimetres, a short tail and a long, sharp beak. The body feathers are blackish with metallic green or purple shine with white to beige tips. This makes the body appear brightly spotted. The starling lives on insects and worms, which is why it is one of the beneficial insects in spring and summer, but also on fruits, seeds and seedlings. It is therefore one of the most dangerous pests in viticulture during the ripening period of the grapes, because it can occur in huge swarms (in contrast to the thrushes).
In autumn the starlings gather to fly south and infest the vineyards, which in extreme cases can be eaten up within a short time. Chemical control or killing of the animals is prohibited. Therefore, nets stretched over the vines, reflecting and rotating in the wind, scarecrows, light pyramids, flying kites, as well as acoustic devices such as scarecrows or CD's with, for example, death cries of birds are used. Effective but personnel-intensive are guardians who patrol the vineyards. Starfighters" (airplanes) are also used. See a complete list of all vine pests and diseases under vine enemies.