Brahminy Starling

This species is defined as a Review Species . Please submit your records of this species via our record submission page .

Scientific Name: Sturnia pagodarum

Malay Name: Perling Ubun Hitam

Chinese Name: 黑冠椋鸟

Range: From eastern Afghanistan to India and Sri Lanka. Vagrants recorded in Indochina.

Taxonomy: Monotypic.

Size: 20 cm

Identification: Distinctive plumage, with black crown, light iris, sandy-grey upperparts, cinnamon-rufous underparts and bicoloured bill that is yellow and blue.

Habitat: Open habitats, including forest, scrubland, and fields.

Behaviour/Ecology: Omnivorous, prefers foraging on ground. Status of bird has been debated (escapee vs genuine vagrant) but increasing records of this species in Indochina, especially Thailand and Singapore, suggests that this species could be a semi-regular vagrant during the winter months (Soe Naing et al., 2016).

Local Status: Vagrant

Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2018)

Featured articles:

Past records in our database:

Showing only accepted records. Note that records currently under review are also not displayed, and the list may not be a full list of records of this species in Singapore. For more details, check the database here.

Migrant bar chart (see more bar charts):

Brahminy Starling Sturnia pagodarum
Average number of individuals by week based on Singapore Bird Database data, Jul 2013 to Jun 2023 (all records)
Peak weeks Feb 05-Feb 11, Feb 12-Feb 18, Feb 19-Feb 25 (6 more)
Early date 01 Oct 1971
Late date 12 May 2016
Bar chart not displayed for this species; several possible escapee records create a poor quality bar chart; refer to the species page (linked above).
One of the several rare vagrant starlings in Singapore. As it is recorded in the captive bird trade, some of Singapore's records may be of escapee origin.


BirdLife International. (2018). Sturnia pagodarum. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018. Accessed on 1 January 2023

Soe Naing, Naw Lah Pwai Paw, Lanzinger, B., Pipat Soisook, Pearch, M. J. & Bates, P. J. J. (2016) The status of the Brahminy Starling Sturnia pagodarum (Gmelin, 1789) (Aves: Passeriformes: Sturnidae) in Southeast Asia. Journal of Threatened Taxa, 8(13), 9574–9578.

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