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?