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Last updated on April 18, 2014 at 14:37 EDT

Starling

PHOTO CAPTION: Metallic Starling

Starlings are small to medium-sized passerine birds in the family Sturnidae. Starlings occur naturally in the Old World (Europe, Asia and Africa). Some forms can be found as far East as Australia. However, several European and Asian species have been introduced to North America and Australia.

These birds typically have strong feet and their flight is strong and direct. They are gregarious and prefer fairly open country. Their diet consists of insects and fruit. Several species live around habitation, and are effectively omnivores.

Plumage is typically dark with a metallic sheen. Most species nest in holes, laying blue or white eggs.

Many Asian species, particularly the larger ones, are called mynas, and the members of the African genus Lamprotornis are known as glossy starlings because of their iridescent plumage. The two species of Buphagus are called oxpeckers.

Common Starlings introduced to North America have been a factor in reducing native cavity nesting bird populations by competing aggressively for nesting cavities.

Species list

  • Metallic Starling, Aplonis metallica
  • Yellow-eyed Starling, Aplonis mystacea
  • Singing Starling, Aplonis cantoroides
  • Tanimbar Starling, Aplonis crassa
  • Atoll Starling, Aplonis feadensis
  • Rennell Starling, Aplonis insularis
  • Long-tailed Starling, Aplonis magna
  • White-eyed Starling, Aplonis brunneicapillus
  • Brown-winged Starling, Aplonis grandis
  • San Cristobal Starling, Aplonis dichroa
  • Rusty-winged Starling, Aplonis zelandica
  • Striated Starling, Aplonis striata
  • Norfolk Starling, Aplonis fusca Conservation status: Extinct (1923)
  • Mountain Starling, Aplonis santovestris
  • Asian Glossy Starling, Aplonis panayensis
  • Moluccan Starling, Aplonis mysolensis
  • Short-tailed Starling, Aplonis minor
  • Micronesian Starling, Aplonis opaca
  • Pohnpei Starling, Aplonis pelzelni
  • Polynesian Starling, Aplonis tabuensis
  • Samoan Starling, Aplonis atrifusca
  • Kosrae Starling, Aplonis corvina Conservation status: Extinct (1828 to 1880)
  • Mysterious Starling, Aplonis mavornata Conservation status: Extinct (1825 to 1950)
  • Rarotonga Starling, Aplonis cinerascens
  • Huahine Starling, Aplonis diluvialis Conservation status: Prehistoric
  • The mysterious “Bay Thrush” (Turdus ulietensis) may also belong into Aplonis.
  • Yellow-faced Myna, Mino dumontii
  • Golden Myna, Mino anais
  • Long-tailed Myna, Mino kreffti
  • Sulawesi Myna, Basilornis celebensis
  • Helmeted Myna, Basilornis galeatus
  • Long-crested Myna, Basilornis corythaix
  • Apo Myna, Basilornis mirandus
  • Coleto, Sarcops calvus
  • White-necked Myna, Streptocitta albicollis
  • Bare-eyed Myna, Streptocitta albertinae
  • Fiery-browed Myna, Enodes erythrophris
  • Finch-billed Myna, Scissirostrum dubium
  • Spot-winged Starling, Saroglossa spiloptera
  • Madagascar Starling, Saroglossa aurata
  • Golden-crested Myna, Ampeliceps coronatus
  • Common Hill Myna, Gracula religiosa
  • Southern Hill Myna, Gracula indica
  • Enggano Myna, Gracula enganensis
  • Nias Myna, Gracula robusta
  • Sri Lanka Myna, Gracula ptilogenys
  • White-vented Myna, Acridotheres grandis
  • Crested Myna, Acridotheres cristatellus
  • Javan Myna, Acridotheres javanicus
  • Pale-bellied Myna, Acridotheres cinereus
  • Jungle Myna, Acridotheres fuscus
  • Collared Myna, Acridotheres albocinctus
  • Bank Myna, Acridotheres ginginianus
  • Common Myna, Acridotheres tristis
  • Bali Myna, Leucopsar rothschildi
  • The genus Sturnia is commonly included within Sturnus
  • Daurian Starling, Sturnia sturnina
  • Chestnut-cheeked Starling, Sturnia philippensis
  • White-shouldered Starling, Sturnia sinensis
  • Chestnut-tailed Starling, Sturnia malabarica
  • White-headed Starling, Sturnia erythropygia
  • White-faced Starling, Sturnus albofrontatus (treated by some as S. senex)
  • Brahminy Starling, Sturnus pagodarum
  • Vinous-breasted Starling, Sturnus burmannicus (treated by some in Gracupica)
  • Black-collared Starling, Sturnus nigricollis (treated by some in Gracupica)
  • Asian Pied Starling, Sturnus contra (treated by some in Acridotheres)
  • Black-winged Starling, Sturnus melanopterus (treated by some in Acridotheres)
  • Rosy Starling, Sturnus roseus
  • Red-billed Starling, Sturnus sericeus
  • White-cheeked Starling, Sturnus cineraceus
  • Common Starling, Sturnus vulgaris
  • Spotless Starling, Sturnus unicolor
  • Wattled Starling, Creatophora cinerea
  • Réunion Starling, Fregilupus varius Conservation status: Extinct (1850s)
  • Rodrigues Starling, Necropsar rodericanus Conservation status: Extinct (after 1726) – the supposed N. leguati was determined to be in reality a mislabelled albino specimen of the Martinique Trembler (Cinclocerthia gutturalis).
  • Emerald Starling, Coccycolius iris (treated by some in Lamprotornis)
  • Cape Glossy Starling, Lamprotornis nitens
  • Greater Blue-eared Glossy Starling, Lamprotornis chalybaeus
  • Lesser Blue-eared Glossy Starling, Lamprotornis chloropterus
  • Southern Blue-eared Glossy-starling, Lamprotornis elisabeth
  • Bronze-tailed Glossy Starling, Lamprotornis chalcurus
  • Splendid Glossy Starling, Lamprotornis splendidus
  • Principe Glossy Starling, Lamprotornis ornatus
  • Purple Glossy Starling, Lamprotornis purpureus
  • Rueppell’s Glossy Starling, Lamprotornis purpuroptera
  • Long-tailed Glossy Starling, Lamprotornis caudatus
  • Meves’ Glossy Starling, Lamprotornis mevesii
  • Burchell’s Glossy Starling, Lamprotornis australis
  • Sharp-tailed Glossy Starling, Lamprotornis acuticaudus
  • Black-bellied Glossy Starling, Lamprotornis corruscus
  • Superb Starling, Lamprotornis superbus
  • Hildebrandt’s Starling, Lamprotornis hildebrandti
  • Shelley’s Starling, Lamprotornis shelleyi
  • Chestnut-bellied Starling, Lamprotornis pulcher
  • Purple-headed Glossy Starling, Lamprotornis purpureiceps
  • Copper-tailed Glossy Starling, Lamprotornis cupreocauda
  • Violet-backed Starling, Cinnyricinclus leucogaster
  • Sharpe’s Starling, Cinnyricinclus sharpii (treated by some in Pholia)
  • Abbott’s Starling, Cinnyricinclus femoralis (treated by some in Pholia)
  • African Pied Starling, Spreo bicolor
  • Fischer’s Starling, Spreo fischeri
  • White-crowned Starling, Spreo albicapillus
  • Golden-breasted Starling, Comopsarus regius (treated by some in Lamprotornis)
  • Ashy Starling, Comopsarus unicolor (treated by some in Spreo)
  • Red-winged Starling, Onychognathus morio
  • Slender-billed Starling, Onychognathus tenuirostris
  • Chestnut-winged Starling, Onychognathus fulgidus
  • Waller’s Starling, Onychognathus walleri
  • Somali Starling, Onychognathus blythii
  • Socotra Starling, Onychognathus frater
  • Tristram’s Starling, Onychognathus tristramii
  • Pale-winged Starling, Onychognathus nabouroup
  • Bristle-crowned Starling, Onychognathus salvadorii
  • White-billed Starling, Onychognathus albirostris
  • Neumann’s Starling, Onychognathus neumanni
  • Narrow-tailed Starling, Poeoptera lugubris
  • Stuhlmann’s Starling, Poeoptera stuhlmanni
  • Kenrick’s Starling, Poeoptera kenricki
  • White-collared Starling, Grafisia torquata
  • Magpie Starling, Speculipastor bicolor
  • Babbling Starling, Neocichla gutturalis
  • Red-billed Oxpecker, Buphagus erythrorhynchus
  • Yellow-billed Oxpecker, Buphagus africanus
Starling