Daurian Starling

Scientific Name: Agropsar sturninus

Malay Name: Perling Ubun Ungu

Chinese Name: 北椋鸟

Alternative Name(s): Purple-backed Starling

Range: Found from Eastern Mongolia, Southeast Russia, Northeast and Central China to North Korea, wintering to Southeast Asia.

Taxonomy: Monotypic.

Size: 17-19 cm

Identification: Male has pale greyish head and underparts, glossy dark purplish nape-patch and upperparts, glossy dark upperwings with two whitish wingbars and black tail. Female and juvenile look similar to male but glossy dark plumage replaced with brown.

Similar looking species: Asian Glossy Starling, Chestnut-cheeked Starling, White-shouldered Starling

Habitat: Forest, wooded areas, gardens, parks, open and coastal habitats.

Behaviour/Ecology: Highly gregarious. Can form huge flock of up to a thousand birds on passage.

Local Status: Common migrant

Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2016)

Location: Suitable habitats throughout Singapore like Bidadari, Sungei Buloh, Seletar Mudflat, Punggol Barat, Lorong Halus, Changi, Singapore Botanic Gardens, Kent Ridge Park and Central Catchment Forest.

Migrant bar chart (see more bar charts):

Daurian Starling Agropsar sturninus
Estimated average number of individuals by week based on eBird data, Jul 2013 to Jun 2023
Peak week Oct 01-Oct 07
Early date 30 Jul 2022
Late date 12 Apr 1998
One record of up to 60,000 individuals in Oct 2021 makes it hard to read the details on this chart, but you can zoom vertically using click-and-drag on a computer, and pinch/scroll on some mobile devices.


BirdLife International. (2016). Agropsar sturninus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22710870A94264888.en. Accessed on 1 January 2023

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

Stanton, D. J., & Leven, M. R. (2014). Abnormal colours of east Asian starlings: a mystery solved? BirdingASIA, 22, 101–104.

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

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