Chestnut-cheeked Starling

Scientific Name: Agropsar philippensis
Alternative Name: Red-cheeked Starling, Violet-backed Starling
Malay Name: Perling Pipi Coklat
Chinese Name: 紫背椋鸟

Found from Sakhalin to Northern Japan, wintering to Southern Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, Borneo, Peninsula Malaysia and Singapore.


Size: 16.5-17 cm

Identification: Male resembles Daurian Starling but has diagnostic chestnut  patch on ear-coverts and neck-side. Female without chestnut patch and difficult to separate from female Daurian Starling but when in flight, lacks whitish tips to scapulars, greater coverts and tertials.

Similar looking species: Daurian Starling

Habitat: Wooded areas and open habitats.

Behaviour/Ecology: Feed on insects and fruits.

Local Status: Very rare vagrant.

Conservation Status: Least Concern (IUCN 3.1)

Location: Three recent confirmed sightings: a male photographed feeding on a ficus with a big flock of Daurian Starling at Bidadari on 11 Oct 2014 and also a male photographed in flight with Daurian Starlings at Faber Height and Henderson Waves Bridge on 31 Oct 2019 and 16 Nov 2019 respectively.


External Links:
Conservation Status: IUCN Red List Page (BirdLife: Sturnus philippensis)
Photos: Oriental Bird Images
Sound Recordings: xeno-canto Link
Wikipedia Entry: Wikipedia Link

Craig Robson (2011) A Field Guide to the Birds of South-East Asia
David Wells (2007) The Birds of Thai-Malay Peninsula, Volume 2