(GR Gray, 1862)
The singing starling (Aplonis cantoroides) is a medium-sized (20 cm in length) starling.
Adult singing starlings have glossy black plumage and bright red irises. Immature birds are paler, with streaked underparts and brown irises. They are distinguished from metallic starlings by shorter, square tails and thicker bills.
Distribution and habitat
Singing starlings are found in New Guinea and some adjacent islands, the Bismarck Archipelago, Admiralty Islands and Solomon Islands. They have been recorded from Boigu and Saibai Islands, Queensland, Australian territory in north-western Torres Strait. They inhabit forest edges, gardens and cultivated areas with trees, urban areas and coconut groves.
They eat figs and other soft fruits, and sometimes insects.
They nest in tree-hollows, cliffs and buildings, often colonially, laying 2-3 pale blue eggs.
The call is a repeated, high-pitched, down-slurred whistle.
As a species with a large range and no evidence of population decline, it is assessed as being of Least Concern.
- Beehler, Bruce M.; & Finch, Brian W. (1985). Species Checklist of the Birds of New Guinea. RAOU Monograph No.1. Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union: Melbourne. ISBN 0-9599823-2-9
- Beehler, Bruce M.; Pratt, Thane K.; & Zimmerman, Dale A. (1986). Birds of New Guinea. Wau Ecology Handbook No.9. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-02394-8
- BirdLife International. (2006). Species factsheet: Aplonis cantoroides. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 4 Feb 2007
- Coates, Brian J. (1990). The Birds of Papua New Guinea. Vol.II: Passerines. Dove Publications: Alderly, Queensland. ISBN 0-9590257-1-5
- Higgins, P.J.; Peter, J.M.; & Cowling, S.J. (eds). 2006. Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds. Volume 7: Boatbill to Starlings. Oxford University Press: Melbourne. ISBN 0-19-553996-6
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