Chestnut-cheeked Starling

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

Scientific Name: Agropsar philippensis

Malay Name: Perling Pipi Coklat

Chinese Name: 紫背椋鸟

Alternative Name(s): Red-cheeked Starling, Violet-backed Starling

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

Taxonomy: Monotypic.

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, White-shouldered Starling

Habitat: Wooded areas and open habitats.

Behaviour/Ecology: Feed on insects and fruits.

Local Status: Vagrant

Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2018)

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):

Chestnut-cheeked Starling Agropsar philippensis
Average number of individuals by week based on Singapore Bird Database data, Jul 2013 to Jun 2023 (all records)
Peak week Dec 03-Dec 09
Early date 11 Oct 2014
Late date 20 Mar 2021
A truly difficult species to twitch – although it has more than one record per year on average since 2019, repeated efforts to relocate reported birds have often proved futile.


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

Robson, C. (2014). Field guide to the birds of South-East Asia (Second Edition). Bloomsbury Publishing, London.

Wells, D. R. (1999). The Birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsula (Vol. 1). Academic Press, London.

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