Bird Sightings : Hebrides : Rose-coloured Starling
(Rosy Starling, Rosy Pastor)
Photography © Martin Scott
Siadar - Isle of Lewis - Outer Hebrides (Western Isles)
"Rosy pastor at Siadar, Isle of Lewis. Presumably the bird that has been around Barvas, though it has now lost its common cousins and is a lone ranger"
Our Rose-coloured Starling photographs
- Rose-coloured Starling
- Sturnus roseus
- UK: Rare but regular migrant in small numbers in Spring & Autumn. (Usually less than 20 UK records annually)
- Breeds: Colonial breeder, using holes in buildings near open grassland. Eastern Europe to temperate Central & Southern Asia
- WI: Rare visitor (30 or less records) TBC
- Winters: India, tropical Southern Asia
- Habitat: Steppe, open agricultural land
- Diet: Omnivorous, Grasshoppers, other insects, some fruit
- Adult pink body, pale orange legs & bill. Glossy black head, wings & tail.
Males: fluffy, wispy crest (longer in breeding season than winter) plumage dull black areas with paler edges in winter, glossy black in breeding.
Females: short crest. Generally duller plumage with less defined colours.
Juveniles: similar to Common Starling juveniles, but short yellow bill & paler plumage in Autumn. Moulting to similar to adults but no crests (Juveniles are birds most likely to turnup in UK in Autumn - our Starling juveniles have moulted to adult plumage by then so a brown Starling is probably rose-coloured juvenile)
- Similar to (and with a song like) a Common Starling
In years when grasshoppers and other insects are abundant, the Rose-coloured Starlings will irrupt beyond their normal range, with much larger numbers than usual reaching UK.
A breeding colony of about 3000 Rose-coloured Starlings can eat nearly 3 tons of grasshoppers, locusts or other insects a day, which makes them very welcome during a locust plague, to the point where locals will call them by magic and prayer.
Compare that to 1 million Common Starlings killed in a single eradication operation in the USA involving shootings, trapping, dynamite and poison (see Birds Britannica ISBN 0-701-16907-9).
Rose-coloured Starling records in the Western Isles
Rare visitor (30 or less records) TBC
The chart below shows how abundant the Rose-coloured Starling is during a month or when you are more likely to see it.
(Source: Outer Hebrides Birds Checklist)
Other local bird photographs
Sources of information for the bird sightings section