Friday, 12 December 2014

White-cheeked Starling (Sturnus cineraceus)

Adult White-cheeked Starling (Sturnus cineraceusat Kamakura, Japan - November 2014

Local Names (Japan): muku-dori (ムクドリ) "muku-bird"                                  
                                  hakutō-ō (ハクトウオウ) "white-haired grandfather"
OTHER NAMES: Grey Starling, Ashy Starling
Weight: 200-735g
Length: 28-34cm
Wingspan: 57cm
NO UK STATUS / IUCN Red List: Least Concern

The common starling of Japan and East Asia, it is found through Japan, Russia, China and Korea, and migrating to Taiwan, Philippines and Thailand from the colder parts of its range in Winter.  While broadly found in cities, it is no way near as ubiquitous as the Eurasian Starling is in Europe.  It is also a lot more flighty and difficult to see.  I finally managed to get a good view in Kamakura, with this individual perched on a phone line being the only time I got a good view of one, despite numerous sightings of flyovers.

Related Species:
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Sturnidae
Genus: Sturnus
Subspecies: None - monotypic

 - Sighting Locations -
JAPAN - Widespread Winter Migrant
 - KYOTO/OSAKA 2013 TRIP: Brief and distant views at Kyoto and Arashiyama
 - TOKYO/HOKKAIDO 2014 TRIP: Seen infrequently in small flocks at Kamakura and Tokyo

Further Notes: RSPB, Wikipedia, BirdGuides, BirdForum Opus, Arkive, IUCN Red List

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