Family Starlings (Sturnidae)

Least Concern

Rosy Starling (Pastor roseus)


French: Étourneau roselin German: Rosenstar Spanish: Estornino rosado
Other common names: Rose-coloured Starling

Turdus roseus


, 1758,

Lapland and Switzerland




S Ukraine E to lower Volga steppes, C & E Kazakhstan, W Altai and W Mongolia, S to E Turkey, N Iran, Afghanistan and NW China (W & N Xinjiang); occasionally SE Europe W to Czech Republic, Hungary and Italy, and possibly now breeding annually in Romania, Bulgaria and Balkans, also occasionally farther E in Russia (to upper R Yenisey). Winters mainly in India and Sri Lanka.

Descriptive notes

19–24 cm; 60–88 g. Medium-sized starling with nape feathers hackled and elongate, forming long erectile crest. Male has head and neck to throat and upper breast... read more


Song a long series of bubbling, warbling, whistled and grating phrases, apparently not including... read more


Breeds on open steppes where orthopterans (locusts and other grasshoppers) abundant; colonies... read more

Food and feeding

Insectivorous during breeding season, when diet dominated by locusts and other grasshoppers; more fruit taken after breeding, and in winter... read more


Breeds May–Jul; short season closely tied to food availability, and breeding may be abandoned prematurely if food supply fails.... read more


Migratory; also nomadic during post-breeding dispersal, which begins when most nestlings have... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Common to abundant; breeding colonies can contain tens of thousands of nests, and migrating birds have been estimated in millions. Location of... read more

Recommended citation

Craig, A. & Feare, C. (2019). Rosy Starling (Pastor roseus). 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 11 December 2019).