Asian Glossy Starlings: Pre-roost gatherings

on 3rd October 2014

Every evening starting at around 1800h, the Asian Glossy Starlings (Aplonis panayensis), mostly juveniles, with some adults, will gather in my ceram palms (Rhopaloblaste ceramica) (above, below).

Once on the fronds of the palm, they move about the fronds, sometimes pecking noisily at the edges of the leaflets, probably to feed on the insects. They do not stay long in the palm, flying off to be replaced by others flying in.

Across the road, the two Mempat trees (Cratoxylum formosum) similarly see such gathering of starlings, but on a lesser scale (above, below). The starlings would fly in from the surrounding areas, attracted to the neighbour’s fountain for a bath and land on the branches to remain there for some time. Some would fly off to be replaced by others. The image above show a line of juveniles waiting their turn to enjoy their bath.

By around 1900-1930h, these Asian Glossy Starlings may suddenly fly off from the palms as well as the trees, triggered by a passing flock. The combined flock is most likely heading for some nearby large roadside trees, joining other birds like mynas for their night roost.

In the Mempat trees, the starlings remain quietly on the branches, flying to the glass partition of the house’s fountain or off to join others to be replaced by yet others. Around the same time the starlings leave the palms, these birds similarly leave the trees.

In these pre-roost gatherings, they do not generate much noise, unlike in the major roosting trees LINK.

YC Wee
October 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.

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