Friday, 12 December 2014

White-cheeked Starling (Sturnus cineraceus)

OTHER NAMES: Grey Starling, Ashy Starling
Latin Etymology: Sturnus ("starling") cineraceus ("ash grey")
Adult White-cheeked Starling (Sturnus cineraceusat Kamakura, Japan - November 2014

Featured Subspecies: N/A
Weight: 200-735g  /  Length: 28-34cm  /  Wingspan: 57cm
ABSENT FROM UK / IUCN Red List: Least Concern

The common starling of Japan and East Asia, it is found through Japan, Russia, China and Korea, and migrating to Taiwan, Philippines and Thailand from the colder parts of its range in Winter.  While broadly found in cities, it is no way near as ubiquitous as the Eurasian Starling is in Europe.  It is also a lot more flighty and difficult to see.  I finally managed to get a good view in Kamakura, with this individual perched on a phone line being the only time I got a good view of one, despite numerous sightings of flyovers.

Related Species:
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Sturnidae
Genus: Sturnus
Subspecies: None - monotypic

 - Sighting Locations -
JAPAN - Japaneseムクドリ  /  muku-dori  ("muku-bird")  ///  ハクトウオウ /  hakutō-ō ("white-haired grandfather")
Widespread Winter Migrant
 - KYOTO/OSAKA 2013 TRIP: Brief and distant views at Kyoto and Arashiyama
 - TOKYO/HOKKAIDO 2014 TRIP: Seen infrequently in small flocks at Kamakura and Tokyo

Further Notes: BirdForum Opus, IUCN Red ListRSPBWikipedia, Xeno-canto

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