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Vinous-breasted Starling at Pasir Ris Park

on 26th August 2014

“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
Singapore
17th August 2014

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

3 responses

  1. 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. 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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