Family Starlings (Sturnidae)

Least Concern

Brahminy Starling (Sturnia pagodarum)


French: Étourneau des pagodes German: Pagodenstar Spanish: Estornino de las pagodas

Turdus pagodarum

J. F. Gmelin

, 1789,

Malabar and Coromandel, southern India




Extreme SE Tajikistan (Ishkashim region)#R, NE Afghanistan E in foothills to E Nepal and West Bengal, S to E Pakistan and throughout peninsular India; non-breeding also in Sri Lanka.

Introduced in United Arab Emirates#R.

Descriptive notes

20 cm; 40–54 g. Distinctive small starling with long wispy crest formed by elongate and hackled crown feathers; feathers of nape and those of upper breast also hackled... read more


Song includes huge variety of different notes and mimicry of other species, also repeated short... read more


Open deciduous forest, scrub, and cultivated areas near human habitation; especially fond of... read more

Food and feeding

Diet insects and other invertebrates, fruit and berries, flowers and nectar. Adults take spiders (Araneae) and snails (Gastropoda), as well... read more


Season Feb/Mar–Aug/Sept, mainly Apr–Aug, generally earlier in S of range than in N; breeding condition of males strongly... read more


Presumed resident over most of range. In N, summer migrant, arriving in Apr–May in... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Locally common, and may be expanding its range in N. First recorded breeding in SE Tadzhikistan in 2011. A few scattered reports... read more

Recommended citation

Craig, A. & Feare, C. (2020). Brahminy Starling (Sturnia pagodarum). 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).