Family Starlings (Sturnidae)

Least Concern

Short-tailed Starling (Aplonis minor)


French: Stourne à queue courte German: Sundastar Spanish: Estornino colicorto

L[amprotornis]. minor


, 1850,



Birds from Mindanao sometimes separated as race todayensis; further study required. Described race montosa (from WC Sulawesi) considered undiagnosable. Treated as monotypic.


S Philippines (Mindanao), C & S Sulawesi (and islands of S coasts), islands in Flores Sea (Tanahjampea, Kayuadi, Kalao, Kalaotoa), Java, Bali and Lesser Sundas (E to Romang and Moa).

Descriptive notes

18 cm; 39–45 g. Small starling with short tail. Plumage mostly blackish, head and neck iridescent bronzy purple, with brighter purple on nape, side of neck, throat and... read more


Plaintive "seep" as contact call; clear metallic shriek, "teek teek", in flight... read more


Forest and forest edge; rarely in cultivated areas and villages in most of range, but in Java and... read more

Food and feeding

Fruit and berries, also insects; coffee (Coffea) berries reported as eaten. Forages both in forest canopy and at edge. Gregarious... read more


Few data. Birds with enlarged gonads in Apr on Mindanao. Said to nest in tree holes in small colonies; other accounts imply that this... read more


Mostly resident. On some islands apparently present only seasonally, and may be nomadic or... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Widely distributed and locally common. Uncommon to locally moderately common in Wallacea.

Recommended citation

Craig, A. & Feare, C. (2020). Short-tailed Starling (Aplonis minor). 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).