Family Starlings (Sturnidae)

Least Concern

White-headed Starling (Sturnia erythropygia)


French: Étourneau à tête blanche German: Andamanenstar Spanish: Estornino cabeciblanco

Sturnia erythropygia


, 1846,

Nicobar Islands


Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • S. e. andamanensis (Beavan#R, 1867) – Andaman Is.
  • S. e. erythropygia Blyth, 1846 – Car Nicobar, in N Nicobar Is.
  • S. e. katchalensis Richmond, 1902 – Katchall I, in C Nicobar Is.
  • Descriptive notes

    20 cm. Small starling with much white in plumage. Nominate race has head to upper mantle and down to breast dirty white; lower mantle and back grey with purple tinge, rump... read more


    Song a loud series of disconnected notes of a very great variety of types, including musical notes... read more


    Forest clearings, forest edge, secondary woodland and open areas, including grassland and... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet includes fruit, nectar and insects. Forages in trees and shrubs; extracts Lepidoptera larvae from rolled bamboo leaves. Gregarious,... read more


    Season Mar–May. Nest of twigs, lined with green leaves, placed in tree hole 2–10 m above ground. Clutch 4 eggs, uniform blue.... read more


    Presumed resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Very common in Andaman Is; less common, but not uncommon, in Nicobars. Apparently not a forest specialist, but is restricted to islands, and could... read more

    Recommended citation

    Craig, A. & Feare, C. (2020). White-headed Starling (Sturnia erythropygia). 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).