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Red-winged Starling spotted in Jurong

on 3rd February 2009

A Red-winged Starling (Onychognathus morio) was spotted at Jurong Lake Park by Choo Teik Ju a.k.a choo in early December 2008.

Teik Ju initially thought it was a crow but then the bill was not as thick as the crow’s. It was actually a Red-winged Starling, native to eastern Africa, from Ethiopia to the Cape in South Africa.

In its native countries the starling is common in urban areas, using buildings and other man-made structures as nesting sites. The bird is highly territorial, aggressive and when nesting, will attack other species, including dogs and cats and even humans. It is omnivorous, taking a wide range of foods. In addition, it is a scavenger. Ideal for our hawker centres?

It must be an escapee. We are seeing more and more escapees in Singapore.

Image by Choo Teik Ju.

This post is a cooperative effort between www.naturepixels.org and BESG to bring the study of bird behaviour through photography to a wider audience.

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.

Other posts by YC Wee

2 Responses

  1. Considering that ther bird park isn’t too far away and that they house African starlings in their waterfall aviary, I would suspect that as the source of your sighting. I have seen a couple of African glossy starling species outside the enclosure and escapees are well known from this display.

    At the Cape Point in South Africa, this species hangs around the restaurant and swipes food right out of your fingers and mouths!

  2. Pingback: jurong point

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