Sunday, 20 November 2011

Spotless Starling (Sturnus unicolor)

Latin Etymology: Sturnus ("starling") unicolor ("uniform")
Adult Spotless Starling (Sturnus unicolor) in Summer plumage in Buen Retiro Park, Madrid, Spain - June 2015

Local Name (Italy): Storno nero ("Black starling")
Local Name (Spain): Estorino negro ("Black starling")
Weight: 70-100g
Length: 21-23cm
Wingspan: 38-42cm
NO UK STATUS / IUCN Red List: Least Concern

The Spotless Starling replaces the common starling in the Iberian penninsula and some of the surrounding region.  It is, however joined in Winter by migrating common starlings.  It is as the name suggests, similar to the common starling, but lacking spots - it has a slightly oily sheen to it's plumage which is an identification feature. In Madrid in the Summer, seeing these birds was a much easier affair - abundant and not particularly afraid of people, plus without common starlings present to confuse identification, making it much easier to photograph.

Related Species:
Order: Passeriformes

Family: Sturnidae
Genus: Sturnus
Subspecies: None - monotypic

 - Sighting Locations -
ITALY - An fairly common resident in Sardinia, Corsica and Sicily.
 - SICILY 2018 TRIP -  Fairly throughout.
SPAIN - Common to locally abundant resident, particularly in Cities.
 - SEVILLE 2011 TRIP: Definitivly seen at Italica, probably common throughout but hard at range to separate from Common Starling.
 - MADRID 2015 TRIP: Abundant thoughout Madrid - one of the most common species.
 - MADRID 2016 TRIP: Abundant thoughout Madrid - one of the most common species.

Further Notes: 
Arkive, BirdForum Opus, IUCN Red ListRSPB, Wikipedia, Xeno-canto

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