STARLINGs of Asia and their Allies

Order Passeriformes   Family Sturnidae

The family Sturnidae includes the starlings and mynas. Family members are collectively know as the starlings. The family also used to include the oxpeckers, but they now are thought to be rather distant relatives. Some starling species are good mimics, and the family is related to the mimidae family of mockingbirds. Starlings are small to medium sized. They are usually dark colored, often with a metallic sheen, but some have bright colors. Many species have very bright eyes. The starlings eat insects and fruit. They favor open spaces.


Genus Acridotheres
The "typical" mynas are found in tropical southern Asia from Iran east to southern China and Indonesia. Two species have been introduced widely elsewhere. The Common Myna has been introduced to South Africa, Israel, Hawaii, North America, Australia and New Zealand, and the Crested Myna to the Vancouver region of British Columbia. They are general dark dull birds. They walk rather than hop. They have bowing courtship displays and lay unmarked pale blue eggs.

Myna, Bank Acridotheres ginginianus Found: Asia
The Bank Myna has mainly bluish-gray plumage; black head; bare orange patch behind eye.
Similar to: Common Myna. Common Myna has black on upper-breast. Bank Myna has gray on upper-breast.
Image by: 1) Mukerjee - India  2) Thomas Schoch - India


Myna, Collared  Acridotheres albocinctus Found: south Asia
The Collared Myna has blackish upperparts; dark gray underparts; broad white collar on nape.
Image by; 1) John Gerrard Keulemans  2) Brendan Ryan - Myanmar


Myna, Common Acridotheres tristis   Native to Asia.  Introduced: North America, Africa, Australasia
The Common Myna brown upperparts; black head, neck, upper-breast; gray lower-breast, upper-belly; white lower-belly; bare yellow patch behind eye.
Similar to: Bank Myna. Common Myna has black on upper-breast. Bank Myna has gray on upper-breast.
Similar to: Common Hill Myna. Common Hill Myna has a bigger bill than the Common Myna. Commom Hill Myna has wattle on back of neck; Common Myna does not.
Similar to: Crested Myna. Crested Myna has crest at base of bill; Common Myna does not. Common Myna has bare yellow patch behind eye; Crested Myna does not.
Image by: 1) Dick Daniels - Nepal  2) Dick - Hawaii   3)  Dick - Johannesburg, South Africa  4, 5, 6) Dick - Australia  7, 8) Dick - Madagascar


Myna, Crested  Acridotheres cristatellus  Found:  North America (introduced), southeast Asia
The Crested Myna has black plumage; ivory bill; orange eyes; tuft (crest) at base of bill.
Similar to: Common Myna. Crested Myna has crest at base of bill; Common Myna does not. Common Myna has bare yellow patch behind eye; Crested Myna does not.
Similar to: Great Myna. Great Myna has yellow bill; orange eyes. Crested Myna has ivory bill; brown eyes.
Image by: 1) Magalhães - Artis, Amsterdam  2) Darren Bellerby - Hong Kong Park, Hong Kong   3) Frankie Chu


Myna, Great  Acridotheres grandis also  White-vented Myna Found: southeast Asia
The great Myna has black plumage; yellow bill; reddish-brown eyes; tuft at base of bill.
Similar to: Crested Myna. Great Myna has yellow bill; orange eyes. Crested Myna has ivory bill; brown eyes.
Image by:  1) Bite25  2) Cory Chen - Taiwan


Myna, Javan  Acridotheres javanicus  Found: Indonesia  Introduced: Malaysia, Myanmar, Taiwan 
The Javan Myna has gray upperparts; lighter gray underparts; yellow bill, eyes, legs; tuft at base of bill.
Similar to: Jungle Myna. Javan Myna has larger bill than Jungle Myna.
Image by: 1, 2) Darren Bellerby - Jurong Bird Park, Singapore  3) Arthur Chapman - Singapore


Myna, Jungle  Acridotheres fuscus  Found: Pakistan, India, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia; introduced Indonesia 
The Jungle Myna has gray upperparts; lighter gray underparts; yellow bill, eyes, legs; tuft at base of bill.
Similar to: Javan Myna. Javan Myna has larger bill than Jungle Myna.
Image by: 1, 2, 3, 4) Dick Daniels - Nepal  5) JM Garg - India




Genus Agropsar
These species are sometimes placed in Sturnia or Sturnus.

Starling, Chestnut-cheeked  Agropsar philippensis  Found: Asia, Indonesia
Image by: Nishmura


Starling, Daurian  also  Purple-backed Starling  Agropsar sturninus  Found: Asia, Indonesia, Malaysia
Image by: 1) Johnny Wee   2) Hiyashi Haka



Genus Ampeliceps - 1 species

Myna, Golden-crested  Ampeliceps coronatus  Found: Asia
Image by: 1) Dick Daniels - North Carolina Zoo   2) Sandy Cole - North Carolina Zoo  3) Dick Daniels - National Aviary



Genus Gracula
These mynas have glossy black plumage and large white wing patches which are obvious in flight. The bill and strong legs are bright yellow or orange, and there are yellow wattles on the head, the shape and position of which vary with species. The sexes are similar, but juveniles have a duller bill.

Myna, Ceylon  also  Sri Lanka Myna  Gracula ptilogenys  Found: Sri Lanka
Image by: 1) Steve Garvie  2) Danushka Senadheera
1) Adult and juvenile


Myna, Common Hill also Hill Myna  Gracula religiosa  Found: Southeast Asia   Introduced: North America
The Common Hill Myna has glossy black plumage; yellowish-orange massive bill; yellow head wattles.
Similar to: Common Myna. Common Hill Myna has a bigger bill than the Common Myna. Commom Hill Myna has wattles on back of neck; Common Myna does not.
Image by:  1) Spencer Wright  2) Arthur Chapman  3) Nagash Kamath


Myna, Southern Hill  Gracula indica  Found: southwest India, Sri Lanks
Image by: 1) Lip Kee - India



Genus Gracupica
This genus is also consdered to be part of Sturnus. They have long, thin bills.

Starling, Asian Pied  also Pied Myna  Gracupica contra  also  Sturnus contra    Found: Asia
The Asian Pied Startling has black upperparts, throat, upper-breast; white cheek, lores, lower-breast; belly, wing coverts; reddish orbital skin; yellowish bill with reddish base.
Image by: 1) Ravi Vaidyanathan - India  2) J M Garg - India


Starling, Black-collared  Gracupica nigricollis  also  Sturnus nigricollis  Found: Asia
The Black-collared Starling has mainly black upperparts with some white; broad black collar; white underparts; bare yellow orbital skin.
Image by: 1, 2, 3) Dick - Miami Zoo  4, 5) Darren Bellerby - Kowloon Park, Hong Kong




Genus Pastoro - 1 species

Starling, Rosy  Pastor roseus  Found: Europe, Asia
The Rosy Starling has pink mantle, underparts; black head, nape, throat, wings, tail.
Image by: 1, 2) Lip Kee - India  3) Sergey Yeliseev - Kazakhstan



Genus Sturnia
See also Agropsar

Starling, Brahminy  Sturnia pagodarum  Found: Asia
Image by: 1) Mukerjee - Delhi   2) Ravi Vaidyanathan  



Genus Sturnornus - 1 species

Starling, White-faced  Sturnornus albofrontatus  Found: Sri Lanka
The White-faced Starling has greenish-gray upperparts; whitish underparts; head paler than underparts.
Image by: 1) John Gerrard Keulemans   2, 3) Steve Garvie



Genus Sturnus
See also Gracupica.

Starling, European   also Common Starling Sturnus vulgaris   Native: Europe, Asia Introduced: North America, Africa, Australasia.
European Starling is glossy back to iridescent green depending on lighting conditons. Underparts have white speckles. In summer females have yellow bill, males have yellow bill with blue-gray base. In winter the bill is black.
Image by: 1) Dick Daniels - Scotland  2) Dick - California  3) Sandy Cole - National Aviary 4) Dick - Cody, Wyoming   5, 6) Dick Daniels- North Carolina   7) Dick - Capetown, South Africa  8) Dick - Australia
1) Adults and juvenile 2) Juvenile


Starling, Vinous-breasted  Sturnus burmannicus  also   Acridotheres burmannicus  Found: southeast Asia, Israel (introduced)
Image by: 1) Joseph Smit  2) Assafn - Israel
1) S. b. burmannicus  above; S. b. leucocephalus below 


Starling, White-cheeked  Sturnus cineraceus  Found: Asia
The male White-cheeked Starling  has dark gray upperparts; paler belly; whitish cheeks, forehead, rump patch; orange legs; orange bill with black tip. Female similar to male but paler and duller.
Image by: 1) Alpsdake - Japan  2) 57Andrew - Hong Kong  3) Marcel Holyoak - Japan




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