Vinous-breasted Starling at Pasir Ris Park

posted in: Species | 3

“The Vinous-breasted Starling (Acridotheres burmannicus) was not recorded in the Singapore checklist but had been spotted sporadically. First time I spotted the Vinous-breasted Starling was at Pasir Ris Park on 21 June 2014. It was rather skittish and flew away from view after I had my record shots (above, below).

“Almost 2 months later, from 10 August, the Vinous-breasted Starling was spotted at a different parts of the park. Not sure whether this could be the same individual. The photos that I took showed some difference in colour of the plumage, but this could be due to differences in lighting conditions. The bird in June, which exhibited a greyish tone on its head, was photographed under shady lighting on a cloudy afternoon close to 6 pm. The bird in August was mostly photographed in better lighting with soft light falling onto its plumage. However, the bird in August did not exhibit a greyish tone even when photographed under shaded condition. It would seem likely that there were two individuals.

“I spotted the Vinous-breasted Starling with a small flock of Javan Mynas during my second sighting in August (above). They were foraging on the ground. I was in luck as the Vinous-breasted Starling was so focused during its foraging that it came closer and nearer.

“As it moved forward, it was staring intensely at the grass; looking for prey (above). Perhaps to flush out its prey, the bird will sometimes flicked its wings (below).

“Within a short time, a few grasshoppers were caught. The grasshoppers were swiped briefly on the grass before being eaten whole (below).

“The Vinous-breasted Starling can still be spotted at Pasir Ris Park on 17 August.”

Kwong Wai Chong
17th August 2014

3 Responses

  1. Kwong

    For clarity, the topmost photo is the only one showing my record shot of the bird with the greyish tone on its head – shot in June.

    The rest of the photos, showing a much more brownish-looking bird, are shot in August.

  2. Am

    I find it very interesting that the mynas have allowed it to be among them especially while feeding! Could this be because it quite resembles a myna? The wings in particular, and the beak shape. It’s also similar in size to a myna.

    I have seen pigeons and sparrows try to feed while among mynas. Both types of birds were chased away by the mynas.

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