Family Starlings (Sturnidae)

Least Concern

Red-billed Starling (Spodiopsar sericeus)


French: Étourneau soyeux German: Seidenstar Spanish: Estornino piquirrojo

Sturnus sericeus

J. F. Gmelin

, 1789,



Has hybridized with S. cineraceus#R. Monotypic.


SE China from E Sichuan E, S of R Yangtze, to Shanghai, S to Hainan and Guangdong; non-breeding also in N Vietnam (E Tonkin)#R, Taiwan and increasing records (migrant or winter visitor) in Japan#R and Korea#R.

Descriptive notes

21–24 cm; 65 g. Medium-sized starling with forehead, crown and nape feathers somewhat elongate and hackle-like. Male has white head, dark grey lower side of neck and... read more


Song described as melodious; chattering calls from flocks, reminiscent of Sturnus vulgaris.


Open areas with scattered trees in hilly country and at low altitudes; also cultivated areas,... read more

Food and feeding

Diet apparently insects and fruit. Forages in trees and on ground; not seen to associate with cattle. Occurs in large flocks outside... read more


Nest placed in in hole in tree, in roof or in wall of house. Eggs plain blue-green. No other information available.


Presumed to be resident or partial migrant in most of range. Non-breeding visitor Nov–Mar in... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Generally fairly common. Numbers thought to be probably stable or perhaps increasing. Nowadays regular in non-breeding season in Japan, having... read more

Recommended citation

Craig, A., Feare, C. & de Juana, E. (2020). Red-billed Starling (Spodiopsar sericeus). 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).