Jerdon's starling

Jerdon's Starling

Scientific Classification

Common Name
Jerdon's starling, vinous-breasted starling, Burmese mynah
Genus Species
Acridotheres burmannicus

Fast Facts

The Jerdon's starling is a small bird with a light head, a yellow bill, a dark stripe through each eye, and a reddish breast. These birds have a black back, wing and tail feathers along with distinctive whitish markings on the edges of the wings.
30 to 37.5 cm (12 to 15 in.); wingspan 11.5 to 13 cm (4.6 to 5.6 in.)
These birds feed primarily on insects with termites being a favorite. They may also feed on berries.
Approximately 14 days
Clutch Size
3 to 5 eggs
Fledging Duration
Approximately 3 weeks
Life Span
12 to 14 years
This species has a very large range in China and Myanmar.
Inhabits forests, savannahs, and grasslands
The total population is unknown but scientists believe that there are at least 10,000 mature individuals. The population appears to be increasing and is not severely fragmented.
IUCN: Least Concern
CITES: Not listed
USFWS: Not listed

Fun Facts

In some regions, starlings are also referred to as grackles.

Jerdon's starlings live in small family groups of 3 to 12 members and are very noisy.

These birds feed mainly on insects, termites being a favorite. They catch the termites by opening their ground tunnels with rapid flicks of their bill.

These birds use their beak to pry open small crevices in a unique way. They first insert their beak, open it, then they peer between the upper and lower mandibles into the space for food.

Jerdon’s starlings are excellent mimics, but also produce a variety of croaks, whistles, and hisses. Scientists believe mimicking other bird songs is an extension of their own song. Singing is a way to communicate territory to other nearby males. If the starling is able to successfully mimic the territorial song of other species, it may well keep those males out as well.

Ecology and Conservation

Starlings were first introduced to the U.S. in the 1800s and they compete with native bird species for nesting sites.

Starlings were intentionally introduced to North America, Hawaii, and Australia to aid in insect control.

Starlings are also a food source for predators.

The population is suspected to be increasing as ongoing habitat degradation is creating new areas of suitable habitat.


Austin, G. Birds of the World. Golden Press, Inc., New York. 1961.

Gotch, A.F. Birds - Their Latin Names Explained. Poole, Dorst: Blandford Press, 1981.

Perrins, C. Birds: Their Life, Their Ways, Their World. New York: The Reader's Digest Association, Inc. 1979.

Perrins, C. M. and A. L.A. Middleton, eds. The Encyclopedia of Birds. New York: Facts on File Pub. 1985.

Perrins, C. M. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Birds: The Definitive Reference to Birds of the World. New York: Prentice Hall Press. 1990.

BirdLife International. 2016. Acridotheres burmannicus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T103870359A94266502. Downloaded on 12 December 2018.

Photo Credit: Acridotheres_burmannicus.jpg. Source: Wikimedia Commons. Image by: Dotan Doron. Year Created: 19 October 2016. Website: License: CC by SA 4.0 International.