Family Starlings (Sturnidae)

Critically Endangered

Black-winged Myna (Acridotheres melanopterus)


French: Martin à ailes noires German: Schwarzflügelmaina Spanish: Miná alinegro
Other common names: Black-winged Starling

Gracula melanoptera


, 1800,

“Inde“= Western Java


Sometimes placed in genus Sturnus, but appears behaviourally and vocally closer to present genus. Hitherto treated as conspecific with A. tricolor and A. tertius; see those two. Monotypic.


Java (except SE part), formerly widespread but currently recorded only in NW (Pulau Dua and Muara Angke Reserves); formerly also Madura I. Records from Jakarta probably escapes.

Introduced in Singapore.

Descriptive notes

23 cm. Small myna with striking black-and-white plumage; feathers of forehead, crown and nape hackled, and nape feathers elongated to form erectile crest. Adult is white,... read more


Flight call a high-pitched whistle, “tsoowit” or “tsoowee”; alarm a harsh... read more


Formerly inhabited cultivated lands and pastures in lowlands, to c. 1300 m. Appears now to be... read more

Food and feeding

Diet fruit, nectar and insects. Mantids (Mantodea) recorded, also nectar of Pithecellobium dulce, and fruits of Fagraea... read more


Season Jan and Mar–May. Presumed monogamous; this supported by evidence of duetting by pair-members. Nest in hole in rock or tree;... read more


Presumed resident; possible local movements in response to flowering and fruiting of forest trees.

Status and conservation

CRITICALLY ENDANGERED. Extremely rare and very local; has declined markedly since at least 1960s. Although this starling was still reasonably common until fairly recently,... read more

Recommended citation

Craig, A., Feare, C., de Juana, E., Sharpe, C.J. & Christie, D.A. (2020). Black-winged Myna (Acridotheres melanopterus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 25 February 2020).