Asian Glossy Starling feeding fledglings

on 23rd May 2008


The Asian Glossy Starling (Aplonis panayensis) is a very familiar bird, found in nearly all habitats. The plumage of the adults can change from brilliant green to purple to black under bright sunlight. The bright red eyes are distinctive. Juveniles appear different. They have a creamy breast streaked with black and a dull, green-grey back.

The birds gather in flocks when feeding and in larger flocks when roosting.

The birds nest the year round, in a variety of cavities – in trees, eves of houses, even in the crowns of palms. A full clutch of eggs is three and often all three survive to fledge.

Dr. Redzlan Abdul Rahman made detailed documentation of the adults feeding the three fledglings from his home base in Raub, Pahang in Peninsular Malaysia.


It is always fascinating to observe such feeding. The two adults cannot satisfy the three fledglings all at the same time. At the most they can feed two at a time, leaving the third hungry and begging. However, as soon as a fledgling is fed, it will start begging all over again. Now how do the adults know which has been fed and which needs to be fed?


The colour of the inner lining of the fledgling’s mouth indicates whether it has just been fed or not – check it it out HERE.


Feeding of the three fledglings is a full time job for the two parents. The fledglings are always hungry and have huge appetites. Imagine, should one adult be predated, can the other cope?

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

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