Starlings

Starlings are open country birds that eats fruits and insect with  habit of using the bills to pry open the food source. They have strong feet and flight. Most species that I have seen in Malaysia likes to live in habitats with humans.

They nest in holes and most species are in dark and metallic colors. A couple of facts about Starlings. They were said to have diverse and complex vocalizations.  This can be seen exhibited by our Hill Mynas. As for most other Starling, their calls are simple single or two shrills notes then a series of low whispering murmurs.

Next would be the special characteristic of Starling. They are social birds living in large family and some species are associated with flock behavior called murmuration. This phenomenon of grouping and flying as a flock were what we see as large black clouds doing acrobatic in the air on TV. . Flocking starlings are one of nature’s most extraordinary sights. The flock need not be from one species, among them could be other species of Starling and also other species of the family group. The science of Murmuration was studied and found that it is basically created by the behavior of the bird's "Do what you neighbor do!". In Malaysia, we do get to see that million of birds together but the show of darting about is displayed by the visiting Purple-backed Starlings with flocks of over a few hundred birds.

 Then this habit of other habit of grouping together on a tree is most evident at the time roosting, also by the Purple-backed Starling. The get-together is more clear in the non-breeding season.

There are both resident and migratory species

From the table above, the birds that I have featured on this page are those marked in orange color. As usual, I have used the master list from Bird Life International as a guide.

 

  1. Asian Pied Starling  
       
  2. Asian Glossy Starling  
       
  3. Black-collared Starling  
       
  4. Brahminy Starling  
       
  5. Chestnut-cheeked Starling  
       
  6. Chestnut-tailed Starling

 

 
       
  7. Daurian Starling  
       
  8. European Starling  
       
  9. Red-billed Starling  
       
  10. Rosy Starling  
       
  11. White-shouldered Starling  
       

 

Starlings are interesting birds as they seem to be everywhere and their shrill calls announce their presence. in the area. Most time they are seen alone and then sometimes they are seen as a pair.  In Malaysia, we only get to see the Glossy Starling. The other Starlings mentioned in this page and Rosy are either migrants or vagrant are birds that we hardly seen.

Two other points need emphasizing is that the Starling seen here could be noisy where they are roosting together otherwise, alone or in pair, I do not find their calls loud nor offensive. This contrary to many reports that their calls varies and are obvious. next, The Glossy Starling do make nest in the roof of houses. That shows that the bird is more domestic than being an entirely jungle dwelling bird.

 

Return to Index Page