Rosy Starling

Pastor roseus  in हिंदी
Scientific Name:  Pastor roseus

Name:  Rosy Starling

    Local Names:
  • Bengali     গোলাপি শালিক
  • Gujarati     ગુલાબી વૈયું
  • Hindi     गुलाबी मैना
  • Kannada     ಗುಲಾಬಿ ಕಬ್ಬಕ್ಕಿ
  • Malayalam     പന്തിക്കാളി
  • Marathi     भोरडी, पळस मैना, गुलाबी मैना
  • Sanskrit     पाटल सारिका
  • Tamil     சூறைக்குருவி
Contribute Photo

The Rosy Starlings are used in China to eliminate the locusts which are considered crop pests. Artificial nests are built to attract the starlings, and today, the locusts’ populations are insufficient to feed the birds. That involves large decrease of insecticide use and a greatly successful plan.
Adult male in breeding plumage has black head, neck, throat and upper breast. The head shows elongated feathers on the nape, forming an erectile crest.
On the upperparts, back and rump are glossy pink. Wings are blackish-brown with glossy green secondaries. The uppertail is blackish-brown too, with green iridescence.
On the underparts, lower breast and belly are pale pink. The undertail-coverts are blacksih, as the thighs.
The bill is pink with black base in breeding plumage. The eyes are dark brown. Legs and feet are yellowish-brown.
In non-breeding plumage, the male has tipped-grey black feathers, tipped-brown pink feathers, brown-tipped undertail-coverts, and buff margins on flight feathers and wing coverts.
The bill is dark brown to blacksih in autumn and brownish-pink in winter.
The female has similar plumage but slightly duller and she has shorter crest. In spring, she has mostly brown throat, nape and undertail-coverts with buffy feather tips.
The juvenile has sandy grey-brown upperparts, paler rump with pinkish-buff wash, brown wings and tail with pale buff edges.
The underparts are pale buff, chin and throat are paler with slightly scaled pattern. The eye is surrounded by pale eye-ring. The bill is horn-coloured. Legs and feet are yellowish-brown.
The first winter has dull black head, short crest, back and underparts browner than adults and pale-tipped undertail-coverts.

Size in cm:

21-21 cm

Size in Inch

8-8 Inch

Primary color:


Secondary color:

blue   (Bird may have more colors)


The Rosy Starling feeds primarily on flightless locusts and other grasshoppers. It also takes bugs, ants, beetles, moths and caterpillars. Spiders, woodlice and snails are eaten too. After the breeding season, it consumes fruits (wild and cultivated species), seeds of cereals and nectar from several flowers. It may follow cattle. It forages in flocks, sometimes very large ones.

Habit and habited:

The Rosy Starling frequents the open steppes during the breeding season, where it can find abundant Orthopterans. The colonies are often established near water and in valleys.
They move to more forested areas after breeding. Outside this period, this species occurs in several types of habitats, as well wooded areas as open country.
They roost at night with other Sturnidae species in trees, thorny bushes and reedbeds, and often gather at daytime roosts near their feeding areas.


Flight call is a loud clear ki-ki-ki.

Bird Type:

Perching Birds


The rosy starling (Pastor roseus) is a passerine bird in the starling family, Sturnidae, also known as the rose-coloured starling or rose-coloured pastor. The species was recently placed in its own monotypic genus, Pastor, and split from Sturnus. This split is supported by recent studies, though other related species within its new genus are not yet known for certain.

The adult rosy starling is highly distinctive, with its pink body, pale orange legs and bill, and glossy black head, wings and tail. Males in the breeding season have elongated head feathers which form a wispy crest that is fluffed and more prominent when the bird gets excited. In winter, the crest is shorter, and the edges of black feathers within the plumage become paler as the edges of these feather erode. Winter plumage in males is comparatively dull.

Females in contrast have a short crest and lack the sharp separation between pink and black.

The juvenile birds can be distinguished from common starling (Sturnus vulgaris) by its obviously paler plumage and short yellow bill. Young birds moult into a subdued version of the adult plumage in autumn, yet these lack the crest. They do not acquire their adult plumage until they are nearly one year old in females, and nearly two years in males. The latter grow plumage very similar to adult females in their second year, but are distinguished by longer crests and noticeably pale feather edges than female juvenile birds.

Distribution Map

  •     Resident (inc. local and altitudinal migrants)
  •     Former range (no recent records but may still survive)
  •     Summer visitor (including summer monsoon)
  •     Winter visitor
  •     Passage (autumn and/or spring) visitor
  •     known to be occasional, scarce or erratic
  •     Small isolated population (actual range smaller)  
  •     Isolated record(s) - one or more in the same area  
  •  colour coded for seasonality as per coloured ranges, black denotes unspecified season

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