Family Starlings (Sturnidae)

Least Concern

Chestnut-cheeked Starling (Agropsar philippensis)


French: Étourneau à joues marron German: Violettrückenstar Spanish: Estornino carirrojo
Other common names: Red-cheeked Starling

Motacilla Philippensis

J. R. Forster

, 1781,





S Sakhalin, Japan (S, including offshore islands of Rishiri-to, Teuri-jima and Sado, to C Honshu), S Kuril Is (S from Iturup), and Askold I (off Vladivostok, in SE Russia); non-breeding Taiwan, Philippines and N Borneo.

Descriptive notes

17–19 cm; c. 50 g. Small starling with short tail. Male has forehead and crown buffy white, mantle and back glossy violet; rump pale salmon with some purple feathers,... read more


Song described as babbling interspersed with louder calls; may include mimicry. Adults give excited... read more


During breeding season, found in open mixed deciduous woodland, agricultural land, and parks and... read more

Food and feeding

Takes insects and fruit. Few details on diet of adults within breeding range; on migration feeds on fruit of Ficus religiosa, ... read more


Season May–Jul; date of first egg-laying on Honshu now 7 days earlier than it was 25 years ago. Monogamous. Nest in hole in tree or... read more


Migratory. Arrival in S Japan in late Mar, moving N to breeding grounds Apr–May; arrival... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Scarce on Sakhlin and Kuril Is; fairly common in Japan, but numbers appear to have declined in Tokyo area of Honshu. Relatively small... read more

Recommended citation

Craig, A. & Feare, C. (2020). Chestnut-cheeked Starling (Agropsar philippensis). 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).