Scientific Name: Acridotheres tristis
Malay Name: Gembala-Kerbau Rumah
Chinese Name: 家八哥
From Central Asia and South Asia, through the Thai-Peninsula to Singapore. Also found in Sumatra, Java, northern coast of Borneo and various parts of the world via introductions.
Polytypic. Subspecies are: tristis, melanosternus.
Local Subspecies: tristis
Size: 24.5-27 cm
Brownish overall with constrasting black head, yellow bare patch around the eye, yellow bill and legs. Undertail coverts are white, and prominent white base to primaries visible in flight. The similar looking Javan Myna is darker overall and lacks the yellow eye patch.
Similar looking species: Javan Myna
Habitat: Open country, villages
Behaviour/Ecology: Population in Singapore originated from introduced escaped individuals around the mid 1930s. A massive range expansion of this species occured through the Peninsula in the past century while the locally introduced population was expanding massively. This self-introduced population eventually reached Singapore some time after the 1980s to merge with the local (introduced) population. The current population in Singapore hence has a mixture of introduced and self-introduced ancestry. This species has also been introduced to various places globally and is listed in "100 of the World's Worst Invasive Alien Species" by the IUCN.
Local Status: Uncommon resident
Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2017)
Location: Throughout Singapore, although seemingly in coastal areas and other locations with generally fewer human traffic.
- Local extinctions of Singapore birds (Science)
- Truly Singaporean Parrots: Queueing for the Good Stuff (Science)
BirdLife International. (2017). Acridotheres tristis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-1.RLTS.T22710921A111063735.en. Accessed on 1 January 2023
Wells, D. R. (2007). The Birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsula (Vol. 2). Christopher Helm, London.