Family Starlings (Sturnidae)

Least Concern

Micronesian Starling (Aplonis opaca)


French: Stourne de Micronésie German: Karolinenstar Spanish: Estornino de Micronesia

Lamproth[ornis]. opaca


, 1833,

Kosrae, Caroline Islands


Seven subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. o. aenea Takatsukasa & Yamashina, 1931 – N Northern Mariana Is (Asuncion, Agrihan, Pagan, Alamagan).
  • A. o. guami Momiyama, 1922 – S Northern Marianas (Saipan, Tinian, Rota, Guam).
  • A. o. orii Takatsukasa & Yamashina, 1931 – Palau Is (Kayangel, Babelthuap, Koror, Garakayo, Ngesebus, Peleliu, Ngabad, Angaur).
  • A. o. kurodai Momiyama, 1920 – Yap, in extreme W Caroline Is.
  • A. o. anga Momiyama, 1922 – Caroline Is (Ulithi, Fais, Faraulep, Woleai, Ifalik, Lamotrek, Chuuk, Lukunor, Nukuoro).
  • A. o. ponapensis Takatsukasa & Yamashina, 1931 – Pohnpei (including Kapingamarangi Atoll, 740 km SW of main island), in E Carolines.
  • A. o. opaca (Kittlitz, 1833) – Kosrae, in extreme E Carolines.
  • Descriptive notes

    24 cm; 71–93 g. Rather large starling with short tail. Nominate race is entirely black, with slight green iridescence on head, mantle, back and wing-coverts; iris... read more


    Song, delivered from high perch, a melodious ascending phrase consisting of modified call notes.... read more


    Forest and disturbed areas, from coastal scrub to dense coconut (Cocos) forest, from sea-... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet primarily fruits and seeds; also insects, and eggs of seabirds; sometimes described as omnivorous. Fruits taken include those of figs... read more


    Breeds in all months on Guam, in Aug on Yap and Pohnpei, and in Oct–Dec on Chuuk. Monogamous. Nest built from sticks, lined with... read more


    Resident; populations tend to be distinct from those on other islands in same region, suggesting... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Restricted range species: present in Mariana Islands EBA, in Palau EBA, in Yap Islands EBA and in East Caroline Islands EBA. Common in most of range... read more

    Recommended citation

    Craig, A. & Feare, C. (2019). Micronesian Starling (Aplonis opaca). 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 13 November 2019).