Family Starlings (Sturnidae)

Least Concern

Madagascar Starling (Hartlaubius auratus)


French: Étourneau malgache German: Madagaskarstar Spanish: Estornino malgache

Turdus auratus

Statius Müller

, 1776,





Coastal areas of Madagascar (except arid SW corner).

Descriptive notes

20 cm; 40 g. Distinctive starling with outermost rectrices longer than others, producing forked tail. Male has dark chocolate-brown head, rest of upperparts lighter brown;... read more


High-pitched "chee chreetee" song from conspicuous perch, given for minutes at a time,... read more


Humid areas with woodland; also regularly on fringes of clearings and cultivated areas near human... read more

Food and feeding

Diet mainly fruit (according to stomach contents); also insects and nectar. Recorded food items are figs (Ficus), also berries;... read more


Season Sept–Nov, according mainly to gonadal development of specimens. Nest in tree hole. Eggs pale blue with rusty-brown spots. No... read more


Presumed to move locally in relation to fruiting cycles of plants; observations indicate periodic... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Widespread and relatively common, even in modified habitats and near villages and cultivated areas. Poorly known for a species which is frequently... read more

Recommended citation

Craig, A. & Feare, C. (2020). Madagascar Starling (Hartlaubius auratus). 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).