Family Starlings (Sturnidae)

Least Concern

Spot-winged Starling (Saroglossa spilopterus)


French: Choucador à ailes tachetées German: Marmorstar Spanish: Estornino alipinto

Lamprotornis spilopterus


, 1831,

Simla–Almora district, Himachal Pradesh, India


Species name is a noun phrase and thus invariable. Monotypic.


Himalayan foothills in N India (Himachal Pradesh S to Uttarakhand and N Uttar Pradesh); non-breeding range in NE India (Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur), Myanmar and W Thailand. Scarce in S China (W Yunnan) and possibly no longer occurs in Bangladesh.

Descriptive notes

19 cm; 47·5 g. Small, mostly brownish starling with pale eyes. Male has feathers of crown to mantle and back grey with dark borders, rump red-brown; wing blackish with... read more


Song a mix of dry, harsh discordant notes and some more musical warbling. Call from flocks a noisy... read more


Open forest, clearings and forest edge in hilly country at 700–1000 m, locally to 2000 m.... read more

Food and feeding

Omnivorous. Diet includes fruit, insects and nectar. Berries and figs (Ficus) eaten, and nectar taken readily from Bombax... read more


Season Apr–Jun. Monogamous. Nest in natural tree hole or barbet (Capitonidae) hole 6–10 m above ground, cavity lined with green... read more


Migratory. Migrates E in Jun–Jul to non-breeding grounds in NE India (Assam, Meghalaya,... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Scarce in breeding areas. Rare to scarce non-breeding visitor in Myanmar and Thailand; possibly no longer occurs in Bangladesh. Seldom kept in... read more

Recommended citation

Craig, A. & Feare, C. (2020). Spot-winged Starling (Saroglossa spilopterus). 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).