Increased encounters with Common starling Sturnus vulgaris far to the east of its known breeding range over the last decade have finally resulted in the first confirmed evidence of breeding in the Russian Far East. Disparate clusters of no less than 6 breeding pairs were discovered in the village of Nogliki, in northeastern Sakhalin Island, a distance of approximately 2,000 km from the edge of the species’ primary range. This paper presents compelling, direct evidence of nesting by Common starlings in Nogliki and indirect evidence of breeding even further north (in the city of Okha). We describe some of the features of nesting and post-nesting birds in the area. These observations allow us to estimate when successful expansion into the region began (i.e., the early 21st Century) and describe the associated factors that facilitated this process. Such factors include habitat at suitable latitudes and the absence of other starling species already occupying that niche.

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