13 Jul 2010

White-shouldered Starling - Sturnus sinensis

Although this species occurs in small numbers in winter and as a passage migrant, it is easiest to see as a breeding species in the summertime in Hong Kong.

Sturnus sinensis

From my 1974 edition of "Hong Kong Birds" by G.A.C. Herklots

"This beautiful little starling arrives in the Colony towards the end of March and leaves in mid-September or shortly afterwards… It feeds for the most part on insects collected in the treetops.. As a rule it nests in crevices in buildings but occasionally in holes in trees."

Herklots was interned during the Japanese Occupation of Hong Kong (1941-45)and added: -

"Every spring during our enforced stay at Stanley we welcomed the return of these starlings; they nested in holes in the outer walls of the prison."

Sturnus sinensis

In New Territories villages White-shouldered starlings still nest in crevices of old buildings, but they also make use of power cable switchboxes in the fishpond areas around Deep Bay.


  1. Nice shots, I have to say for attractive Starling species we are spoiled for choice in east Asia.

  2. Wonderful photos! Really like the detail and clarity.

  3. Very nice photos of the starling which I don't get to see very often!
    It's pretty uncommon in Thailand.

  4. Stu: - Yes, starlings are an attractive family... your park breeders are rare passage migrants here..

    Unravel:- I used to think WS Starlings were uncommon in HK too... but I should get out and about more in summer

    Andrew: _ Glad you spotted the clarity ! Like to add my 600mm to your "clutter" ?