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Brahminy Starling

From Opus

Alternative names: Black-headed Mynah; Pagoda Myna

Photo by Alok TewariKeoladeo National Park, Bharatpur, Rajasthan, India, December-2017
Photo by Alok Tewari
Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur, Rajasthan, India, December-2017
Sturnia pagodarum

Temenuchus pagodarum, Sturnus pagodarum


[edit] Identification

20cm (7¾ in). A small starling with a long wispy crest.

  • Grey upperparts
  • Reddish-orange underparts
  • Black crown, nape and crest
  • White outertail, prominent in flight
  • Yellow wattles, bill (with bright blue base) and legs

Sexes similar, males have a longer and blacker crest. Juveniles are much duller, have a sooty-brown head and lack the crest.

PairPhoto by obasanmiBandhavgarh, India, March 2005
Photo by obasanmi
Bandhavgarh, India, March 2005

[edit] Distribution

Asia: found from northeast Afghanistan east over Pakistan, India to southern Nepal and rarely in Bangladesh. Non-breeding visitors in Sri Lanka.
Vagrants recorded in northeast India, Burma, Thailand, Singapore and China but these may also be escaped cagebirds.
Common in most of its range.

[edit] Taxonomy

This is a monotypic species[1] which is sometimes placed in the genus Temenuchus or alternatively in Sturnus.

[edit] Habitat

Dry forest, jungle and scrub. Also visits gardens. Prefers waterlogged areas. Found in lowlands and hills up to 1800m.

JuvenilePhoto by AinsMount Abu, Rajasthan, India, July 2010
Photo by Ains
Mount Abu, Rajasthan, India, July 2010

[edit] Behaviour

[edit] Diet

Feeds on insects, other invertebrates, fruit, berries, flowers and nectar.
Forages on the ground, often walking among cattle. Associates often with other species like Chestnut-tailed Starling, Asian Pied Starling, Common Myna or Jungle Myna.

[edit] Breeding

Breeding season mainly April to August. A monogamous, usually solitary species, sometimes in loose colonies. It nests in holes and 3-5 eggs are laid.

[edit] Movements

Mainly resident, birds from the northern part of the range (Afghanistan, Kashmir) migrate south.

[edit] Vocalisation

Listen in an external program
Recording by Alok Tewari
Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur, Rajasthan, India, June-2017
Two birds calling in tandem, one close and the other a little distance away, giving a variety of calls. Calls by Large billed Crow and Eurasian Collared Dove can also be heard, in the BG.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2015. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2015, with updates to August 2015. Downloaded from
  2. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliott, and D Christie, eds. 2009. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 14: Bush-shrikes to Old World Sparrows. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8496553507
  3. AvianWeb

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