Family Starlings (Sturnidae)

Least Concern

Stripe-headed Rhabdornis (Rhabdornis mystacalis)


French: Rhabdornis à tête striée German: Streifenkopf-Kleiberstar Spanish: Rabdornis común
Other common names: Stripe-sided Rhabdornis

Meliphaga mystacalis


, 1825,

neighbourhood of Manila, Luzon, Philippines


Proposed race longirostris (from vicinity of Cadiz, in N Negros) described on basis of long bill, but bill length evidently no different from that of birds of nominate race from N Luzon. Two subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • R. m. mystacalis (Temminck, 1825) – N & WC Philippines (Luzon, Catanduanes, Masbate, Panay and Negros).
  • R. m. minor Ogilvie-Grant, 1896 – EC & S Philippines (Samar, Biliran, Leyte, Bohol, Calicoan, Dinagat, Mindanao and Basilan.
  • Descriptive notes

    15·1–17·5 cm; 22·4–31·5 g. Male nominate race has crown and nape dark brownish-black, feather centres white (forming bold white... read more


    Calls during foraging and when perched a series of "zeet" notes. Also recorded is an... read more


    From virgin forest to forest edge and clearings, from sea-level to 1000 m, rarely higher.

    Food and feeding

    Varied diet, including insects (e.g. caterpillars), and fruits and seeds. Forages in flocks of up to 20 or more individuals, moving rapidly... read more


    On basis mainly of data on gonad condition of specimens, most breeding activity from Mar, or perhaps Feb, to Jun or early Jul; oviduct eggs... read more


    Resident. Only local foraging movements documented.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Fairly common throughout range. Presence on Biliran known only from sight record. Forests below 1000 m are rapidly disappearing throughout... read more

    Recommended citation

    Kennedy, R. & Miranda, H. (2020). Stripe-headed Rhabdornis (Rhabdornis mystacalis). 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 17 February 2020).