Tue . 19 Feb 2019

Eugene Schieffelin

eugene schieffelin, eugene schieffelin common starling
Eugene Schieffelin 29 January 1827, New York, NY1 — 15 August 1906, Newport, Rhode Island2 belonged to the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society and the New York Zoological Society He was responsible for introducing the European starling Sturnus vulgaris to North America3


  • 1 Starling release
    • 11 Reasons for release
  • 2 References
  • 3 External links

Starling releaseedit

In 1890, he released 60 starlings into New York City’s Central Park He did the same with another 40 birds in 1891 Schieffelin wanted to introduce all the birds mentioned in the plays of William Shakespeare to North America3 He may have also been trying to control the same pests that had been annoying him thirty years earlier, when he sponsored the introduction of the house sparrow to North America4

European starlings were not native to North America Schieffelin imported the starlings from England Scientists estimate that descendants from those two original released flocks now number at more than 200 million residing in the United States

The starlings' wildly successful spread has come at the expense of many native birds that compete with the starling for nest holes in trees5 The starlings have also had negative impact on the US economy and ecosystem 6

His attempts to introduce bullfinches, chaffinches, nightingales, and skylarks were not successful

Reasons for releaseedit

Schieffelin belonged to the American Acclimatization Society,7 a group that aimed to help exchange plants and animals from one part of the world to another In the 19th century, such acclimatization societies were fashionable and supported by the scientific knowledge and beliefs of that era, as the effect that non-native species could have on the local ecosystem was not yet known

European starlings are now considered an invasive species in the United States8


  1. ^ Complete American Armoury and Blue Book, 1907 ed, p 175
  2. ^ "Eugene Schieffelin Dead," The New York Times, Aug 16, 1906, p 7
  3. ^ a b Gup, Ted"100 Years of the Starling" The New York Times Retrieved 2 July 2011
  4. ^ Edward Tenner, Why Things Bite Back, pp 152-155, New York: Vintage Books, 1997
  5. ^ "European Starling" Cornell Lab of Ornithology Retrieved 2 July 2011
  6. ^ http://wwwbbccouk/news/magazine-27055030
  7. ^ "AMERICAN ACCLIMATIZATION SOCIETY" The New York Times, Nov 15, 1877, p 2
  8. ^ "Invasive Species: Animals" National Invasive Species Information Center Retrieved 2 July 2011

External linksedit

  • Park and the People, A History of Central Park By Roy Rosenzweig, Elizabeth Blackmar See hyperlinks referring to Schieffelin on page 1 of the book
  • New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, Edenwald Playground
  • GreenMuseumorg, “I'll Have a Starling” installation
  • Tennessee State Department of Environment and Conservation, Origins of the European Starling in the United States, By David Ian Withers
  • Stanford University, Birds of Stanford - Essays, Avian Invaders, by Paul R Ehrlich, David S Dobkin, and Darryl Wheye
  • Newsdaycom, Starlings in Flight Not Bard's Delight, By Julie Claire Diop, June 8, 2003

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