Daurian Starlings flocking

posted in: Roosting | 5

“At Changi Business Park late this afternoon, one of my habitual weekend dog walking haunts, I saw a flock of at least 100, perhaps double that, Daurian Starlings (Purple-backed Starlings) (Sturnus sturninus). At first they were flitting from tree to tree near the large lake, chirruping away to each other, and it took me a while to work out what they were – despite their relative commonness, I have never actually positively ID’ed one before. 

“About ten minutes later I came across them again, and something flushed them from the trees they were in. They instantly coalesced into a formation and soared and swooped and whirled, the late afternoon sun catching their pale underparts.

“A beautiful sight, and one I have not seen in Singapore before. It reminded me of my childhood in England where I would see vast cloud-like flocks of Common Starlings (S. vulgaris, though I didn’t have any idea then, other than just ‘starlings’). 

It made my day!”

Howard Banwell
11th October 2009

Note: The Purple-backed Starling is a common winter visitor and passage migrant to Singapore, flocking in large numbers in many parts of the main island. Such sights can be seen around September-October and again in March. An earlier post can be seen HERE.


5 Responses

  1. A very large flock of purple-backed starlings was seen at Lorong Halus about 6pm on 10 Oct. I counted more than 600 birds in one of the photos taken. As the photo covers only about 2/3 of the flock, I estimated that there were at least 900 birds! It was quite spectacular seeing them in flight and changing direction in unity.

  2. Any photos to share?

  3. Sure. Please advise how I can post the pictures.

  4. Please send to me at wee37@starhub.net.sg – many thanks.

  5. […] the earlier posting of the Daurian Starlings or Purple-backed Starlings (Sturnus sturninus) flocking, Kwong Wai Chong […]


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