Family Starlings (Sturnidae)


Mountain Starling (Aplonis santovestris)


French: Stourne d’Espiritu Santo German: Rostbürzelstar Spanish: Estornino de Espíritu Santo

Aplonis santovestris

Harrisson and A. J. Marshall

, 1937,

Mount Watiamasan, Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu




Espiritu Santo, in N Vanuatu.

Descriptive notes

18 cm. Male has forehead and crown dark brown, slight gloss on crown; upperparts, including upperwing-coverts, dark rusty brown, brighter on rump; primaries and secondaries... read more


Calls described include a hissing note and a harsh call; also "tzee-tzee-tzee" given from perch and... read more


Cloudforest above 1200 m.

Food and feeding

Diet includes fruit, seeds and insects. Forages generally in understorey, below 6 m. Usually seen singly or in pairs.


Reported as nesting in hole relatively low down in tree; clutch of 2 whitish eggs reported. No other published information.



Status and conservation

ENDANGERED. Restricted range species: present in Vanuatu and Temotu EBA. Poorly known. Local people described the species as widespread in W mountains; in contrast, rarely... read more

Recommended citation

Craig, A., Feare, C. & Sharpe, C.J. (2020). Mountain Starling (Aplonis santovestris). 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).