Bird Families

Black-winged starling - Acridotheres melanopterus, species


The starling's favorite food is insects, but he also eats earthworms, small snails, juicy fruits, berries, and seeds in case of need, and also willingly looks for parasites on the back of grazing domestic animals.

Searching meadow plants and loose soil, it opens its beak with a compass, often follows a plowing villager, and in the fall willingly attacks vineyards.

How does a starling live

The starling is an extremely lively and agile bird. He is never busy, flies here and there and is so public that he often joins rooks, jackdaws and blackbirds. He walks waddling, mostly walking, sometimes jumping. Its flight is straightforward, before landing, hesitant. He drinks a lot and loves to swim.

In August, starlings begin to gather in groups, in September they form larger flocks, growing by the time of the main flight in October into hordes of thousands of pieces. In late autumn, such flocks fly away from feeding grounds to resting places every evening, often within a few hours of flight, especially into dense reeds, with one flock following another.

The birds sing and rustle, greeting each new flock with a cry, and finally, with the onset of dusk, they gradually become silent and fall asleep, sitting several by one on a reed stalk bent under their weight. With the onset of dawn, a new path begins, and after sunrise, most of the flock immediately rises in all directions in small flocks.

In its winter quarters, namely in Southern Europe and North Africa, the starling probably leads the same way of life as ours. It is distributed throughout Europe and Siberia, east to Lake Baikal, north to 70 ° latitude.

However, at present, this species is generally divided into several varieties.

Amethyst starling

Amethyst starling lives in Africa north of the Sahara Desert. Its lifestyle is no different from that of an ordinary starling. Since October, he begins to build a nest and acquire chicks. In March, chicks already begin to fly.

In the nest, 2-4 eggs of a pale blue color are found. The female incubates eggs for 2 weeks. Then the starlings feed their chicks for about a month. Amethyst starlings feed on insects and fruits of berry trees.

Number of species in "sister" taxa

viewBlack-winged starlingAcridotheres melanopterusDaudin1800
suborder / suborderSingersOscines
detachment / orderPasserinesPasseriformes
superorder / superorderNew Sky Birds (Typical Birds)NeognathaePycroft1900
infraclassReal birds (Fan-tailed birds)NeornithesGadow1893
subclassCilegrud Birds (Fan-tailed Birds)Carinatae Ornithurae (Neornithes) Ornithurae (Neornithes)Merrem1813
subtype / subdivisionVertebrates (Cranial)Vertebrata (Craniata)Cuvier1800
type / departmentChordatesChordata
supertypeCoelomic animalsCoelomata
sectionBilaterally symmetrical (Three-layer)Bilateria (Triploblastica)
subkingdomMulticellular animalsMetazoa

Interspecific bird conflicts are explained by competition and hybridization

Many animals jealously guard their territory from the invasion of strangers. This is logical when it comes to a representative of its own species. However, an individual belonging to a different species often becomes the object of attack. For a long time, it was believed that such interspecific territoriality was just a by-product of the intraspecific one.In other words, the owner attacks the stranger by mistake, mistaking him for a relative.

However, new evidence suggests that protecting an area from other species is adaptive. It can arise and persist when different species compete for a particular resource, such as food or shelter.

A team of zoologists led by Jonathan P. Drury of the University of Durham conducted a massive study of interspecies competition for territory using the example of North American passerines. After analyzing the literature, scientists found that this behavior is typical for 104 of their species. This is 32.3 percent of the total number of passerine species in North America. Thus, interspecies competition is more widespread than previously thought.

According to the authors, in most cases, birds come into conflict over territory with a representative of one specific species. There are several factors that increase the chances of forming a pair of competing species. For example, birds that live in the same biotope, have similar sizes and nest in hollows are more likely to be involved in conflicts over territory. For species belonging to the same family, another factor plays an important role - the probability of hybridization. If two species are capable of interbreeding with each other, their males are likely to react aggressively to each other.

Based on the data obtained, the researchers concluded that interspecific conflicts for territory among birds do not arise at all by mistake. This behavior is an adaptive response to competition for a limited resource, as well as a mechanism to prevent hybridization between closely related species.

Black winged starling

Black-winged starling is a small songbird of the starling family, endemic to the islands of Java and Bali in Indonesia. Inhabitant of the savannah, sometimes found in man-cultivated landscapes - lawns, pastures, orchards and fallow fields. It is designated as an endangered taxon in the International Red Data Book. The main risk factor is the capture and trade of this bird as a pet, as a result of which, since the 1960s, the number in the wild has sharply declined and remains at very low levels.

1. Description

Body length 22 - 24 cm, wingspan 120 - 129 cm. Medium size starling stocky build. The plumage is predominantly white, with the exception of the black wings and tail. Head feathers sometimes have a slight ocher tint. On the crown and back of the head, the feathers are somewhat longer and disheveled in the form of a tuft. The beak and legs are yellow, the iris is dark brown. Around the eyes there is a yellowish or pinkish ring of unfeathered skin. Primary flight feathers are slate-gray or black with a slight bronze-green tint, but with white bases. The minor ones are also black. Wing coverts are white. The tail is black with a white stripe at the end. Males and females look the same. In young birds, the top of the head, the back of the head and the back have a more gray tint, and the crest and the ring of skin around the eyes are absent. The voice is loud, reminiscent of a sharp whistle.

Buffalo starling

The buffalo starling is a small bird. It differs from ordinary starlings in its unusual thickened brightly colored beak and very strong legs.

Buffalo starling photo on ungulate - often feeds on insects parasitizing on the skin of ungulates.

2. Dissemination

Distributed on the islands of Java and Bali in Indonesia. Occasionally flies to the nearby islands of Madura and Nusa Penida. Previously, there were reports of a population on the island of Lombok, but now only occasional visits are known. Introduced in Singapore. Habitat - predominantly grassy lowlands, including agricultural land and pastures for livestock grazing. He tries to avoid settlements. In the eastern part of Java, it occurs up to 2400 m above sea level. Also inhabits light monsoon forests, forest edges, savannahs. It makes seasonal migrations in search of food.

Swallow starling

Of the genus of swallow starlings (Artamus), which belongs to the starling family, which, however, is distributed westward to India, most of the approximately 20 species are found in the Australian animal distribution area. Species of this genus combine the properties of starlings, shrikes and swallows, in particular they are distinguished by long wings, similar to the wings of swallows, they lead a lifestyle similar to that of swallows.

These birds, keeping along the banks of rivers and in the savannas, catch insects, like swallows, on the fly. Their flight is an alternation of wing blows with soaring, but it is inferior to the flight of swallows in speed, they either rise high in the air, then fly above the very surface of the water. On the ground, short-legged swallow starlings are very awkward. They arrange their nest in trees, their eggs are similar to those of shrikes.

Wood swallow starling, equal in size to our swift, gray above, red-brown below, with a white stripe above the eye. Australian short-legged starlings are Sphecotheres, which are distinguished by their bare eyes and frenulum, and four species are common in Australia and New Guinea.

We have not listed all types of starlings. There is also a bronze starling, woody white-headed starling, golden starling, brass, copper, monochromatic, rice, steel (gray), mourning (black) starling, tailed starling.

Red-winged starling

The red-winged starling has small red inserts on its wings. It is a rather large bird, about 27-30 cm long. With an elongated neck. This species of starling was discovered by Linnaeus in 1766.

You can get a complete picture of this starling by looking at the photo.

Waller's starling.

This bird was discovered by the English naturalist Gerald Waller in 1880. The determinant reads as Onychognathus walleri.

Lives in Burundi, Cameroon, Congo, Guinea, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria, Rwanda and Zambia.


The family of starlings is represented in the Caspian region by the pink starling (Sturnus roseus). The predominant color of an adult bird is pink, the head, wings and tail are black, there is a crest on the head, young birds do not have a crest, brown-gray with a whitish throat and indistinct spots on the breast. The length of the pink starling is approximately 21 cm. From the Caspian region it is distributed to the east to Mongolia, and to the west to the Danube lowland, where it annually visits Bulgaria, and in some years it is even very common here. The behavior of the pink starling is very similar to our European starling.

Like this last one, he runs through the meadows and nods, searching them, he also forms flocks in which individual individuals keep, however, not as closely together as our starlings. Pink starlings also differ from these latter in that they fly a lot more and behave generally more restlessly. Yes, they have to fly around vast areas every day in order to find food for themselves, and also catch, like bee-eats, insects on the fly.

However, usually the pink starling collects insects on the ground. Here he searches for them, like our starling, and, like him, accompanies herds of cattle, sheep and pigs in order to catch gadflies and horseflies scurrying around these animals.

He also sits on animals, frees them from ticks and lice, which is why animals willingly tolerate him. The main food of the pink starling, however, is the migratory locust, which is found in its homeland in whole swarms, resembling clouds. According to the Turks, the bird kills 99 out of a hundred of these insects, and eats only a hundredth.

For the extermination of locusts, the peoples of his homeland consider the pink starling to be almost a sacred bird, here it is protected everywhere, protected and never killed. On the other hand, the owners of rice fields in India call the rose starling, which feeds, in addition to insects, also berries, fruits and grain grains, a devil bird and are so afraid of him that they put up guards in order to prevent the harm caused by the bird that appears here in huge flocks. While in India the pink starling overwinters normally, it flies into Africa only occasionally.

At irregular intervals, the pink starling visits Italy, France and even England, as well as other countries located between the newly renamed and its nesting area. During these flights, pink starlings usually join our starlings and visit the same pastures with them, namely pastures for livestock. The pink starling is also a public bird, living in larger or smaller herds, but leaving for the night quietly and calmly, without the noise so characteristic of our starlings.

In general, the pink starling prefers to choose tall trees for lodging, but since they are almost absent in his homeland, he has to be content with thickets of willows bordering the banks and river beds. A nest of a pink starling is always located near the water, which is an artless construction of dry twigs and straws. Sometimes it nests in such huge colonies that, due to lack of space, some pairs have to nest on the ground between grass and stems.

In general, the pink starling builds a nest in the hollows of trees, in the cracks and holes of steep cliffs and rocks, in ruins and stone walls, in firewood stores and heaps of brushwood. Occasionally, this bird also nests outside its real homeland, where it spends time from the end of April to August. The fact is that, like other birds of those countries, the pink starling sometimes undertakes mass migrations.

How the starling sings

The starling learns to whistle all sorts of melodies and clearly pronounce individual words, but soon forgets what he has learned, imitating the new. His song is changeable and long, confused, consisting of many sibilant, creaky, barrel-organ-like, chirping and chirping stanzas, invocative sounds and imitations of other birds, such as the oriole.

The call-up cry - sounds like "shter", among young people - "shtar, shtar".

3. Reproduction

The nest is made in rock crevices, in the hollows of acacias and Samanea rain tree, or in the axils of palm leaves. In Bali National Park, Barat willingly occupies artificial birdhouses. The breeding season varies depending on the area of ​​residence - for example, in the west of Java it occurs in March-May, in the east of Bali in June. In clutch there are 3 - 4 blue eggs without pattern. Egg size 25 - 28 x 19 - 20 mm.

4. Nutrition

It gets food on the ground and in the foliage of trees. It also sometimes climbs onto the backs of grazing buffaloes. From animal feed, it feeds on grasshoppers, termites, cockroaches, praying mantises, ladybirds Coccinella repanda, earwig larvae, etc. Plant food includes the fruits of antidesma antidesma Antidesma bunius, lantana vaulted Lantana camara, mulberry kaukolaca Phyllus Manyus alba and some others. Eats rice grains

Article source:

Starling meat.

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Black starling.

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Eco Green Park Eco Green Park in Batu, Java, Indonesia.

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Starling photo, video, description.

Black-winged starling lat. Sturnus melanopterus is a small songbird of the starling family, endemic to the islands of Java and Bali in Indonesia. Presentation of Birds Grade 4 in Biology - download the project. Cape Glossy Starling, Lamprotornis nitens, Cape Glossy Starling Black-winged Smoky Kite, Elanus caeruleus caeruleus, Black shouldered.

Starling Multitran.

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Presentation on theme: Starling Birds. Scientific classification.

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What You Didn't Know About Starlings !.

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Birds of Bali and Java islands.

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Locust starling.

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