Family Starlings (Sturnidae)

Least Concern

Coleto (Sarcops calvus)


French: Goulin gris German: Kahlkopfatzel Spanish: Miná coleto

Gracula calva


, 1766,

Luzon, Philippines


Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • S. c. calvus (Linnaeus, 1766) – N Philippines (Luzon, Polillo, Catanduanes, Mindoro and smaller islands).
  • S. c. melanonotus Ogilvie-Grant, 1906 – C & S Philippines (Ticao, Samar, Panay, Negros, Cebu, Bohol, Mindanao, Basilan and smaller islands).
  • S. c. lowii Sharpe, 1877 – Sulu Archipelago (except Basilan)#R, in SW Philippines.
  • Descriptive notes

    27 cm; 120–170 g. Distinctive grey-and black sturnid with bare skin covering most of face from base of bill back to side of nape, ear-coverts and cheek, and to top of... read more


    Typical call a metallic click followed by high-pitched "kliing-kliing"; described also as... read more


    Forest, forest edge, coconut (Cocos nucifera) groves and secondary growth, even isolated... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet fruit and insects, also flower nectar; captive pair fed young primarily with insects. Forages singly, in pairs and occasionally in... read more


    Breeds Mar–Sept on different islands; birds with enlarged gonads in Feb; captive individuals in Europe nested in summer. Apparently... read more


    Presumed resident; most ringed individuals recaptured close to ringing site, but one moved 175 km.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common in much of range. Formerly hunted for food in some regions. Widely kept as a cagebird, as it is a noted mimic of human speech. Occurs in... read more

    Recommended citation

    Craig, A. & Feare, C. (2020). Coleto (Sarcops calvus). 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).