Family Starlings (Sturnidae)

Least Concern

White-shouldered Starling (Sturnia sinensis)


French: Étourneau mandarin German: Mandarinstar Spanish: Estornino chino

Oriolus sinensis

J. F. Gmelin

, 1788,





SE China (S of a line from E Yunnan E to Fujian, including Hong Kong) and NE & NC Vietnam (E Tonkin, N & C Annam); non-breeding in coastal SE China, Taiwan, Hainan and from N Vietnam S to peninsular Thailand E to Indochina, scarce in Malay Peninsula and Singapore.

Descriptive notes

17–20 cm; 61 g. Male has forehead buffy white, crown buffy white or pale grey; nape, mantle and back silver-grey, rump buffy ochre; wing dark brown to black, slight... read more


Song apparently not described. Flight call is a soft "preep", alarm is a harsh "kaar... read more


Open country, including scrub and settled areas, cultivation; lowlands, in non-breeding quarters to... read more

Food and feeding

Diet includes insects, but no data from breeding range. Largely arboreal when breeding. On non-breeding grounds seen to forage on ground... read more


Mar–Jun in Vietnam. Often in colonies, and with other species. Nest a large mass of vegetation, placed in hole in tree, rock or... read more


Migratory in most of range; resident in Hong Kong and N Vietnam. Post-breeding movement S to SE... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Rather uncommon. In China, population has recently declined markedly in numbers; locally common in Vietnam. In non-breeding quarters scarce to quite... read more

Recommended citation

Craig, A. & Feare, C. (2019). White-shouldered Starling (Sturnia sinensis). 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 13 December 2019).