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26

Metallic Starling

(Aplonis metallica)
Alternate name(s): "Shining Starling", "Shiny Starling", "Australian Shiny Starling", "Glossy Starling", "Whirlwindbird"
Size: 22-24 cm
Weight: 50-65 g

Similar
species

Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Metallic Starling at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

Race "metallica"

ADULT

Sex unknown

Frontal view of an adult Metallic Starling (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Port Douglas, QLD, July 2018]

Frontal view of an adult Metallic Starling looking sideways (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Port Douglas, QLD, July 2018]

Frontal view of a Metallic Starling (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Cairns, QLD, July 2013]

Near-frontal view of an adult Metallic Starling looking sideways (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Port Douglas, QLD, July 2018]

Near-lateral/ventral view of a Metallic Starling (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Port Douglas, QLD, July 2018]

Lateral view of a Metallic Starling (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Mission Beach, QLD, September 2020]

Lateral/ventral view of a Metallic Starling (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Port Douglas, QLD, July 2018]

Near-dorsal view of a Metallic Starling (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Mission Beach, QLD, September 2020]

Small flock of Metallic Starlings, with adult birds at the centre of the group and younger ones on the fringes
(photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Cairns, QLD, July 2013]

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

Frontal/ventral view of a sub-adult Metallic Starling; only the head plumage needs to moult to reach adult form
(photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Port Douglas, QLD, July 2018]

Lateral view of a sub-adult Metallic Starling, with only a few white patches of the juvenile plumage remaining
(photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Cairns, QLD, July 2013]

Frontal/ventral view of a juvenile Metallic Starling looking down (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Port Douglas, QLD, July 2018]

Near-lateral view of a juvenile Metallic Starling (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Cairns, QLD, July 2013]

Lateral/ventral view of a juvenile Metallic Starling (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Port Douglas, QLD, July 2018]

Dorsal/ventral view of a juvenile Metallic Starling (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Port Douglas, QLD, July 2018]

Breeding information

Breeding season: Aug - Jan Eggs: 2 - 4 Incubation period: ca. 15 days Fledging age: 21 - 25 days

Nest building: Female & male? Incubation: Female & male Dependent care: Female & male

Nest

"bungobittah", "malunna" = nest [Aboriginal]

Type: Domed hanging bottle Material: Vine tendrils; palm leaf lining Height above ground: >10? m

Pair of Metallic Starlings working on their nest (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Mission Beach, QLD, September 2020]

Pair of Metallic Starlings working on their nest (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Mission Beach, QLD, September 2020]

Part of a tree crown with a small colony of Metallic Starling nests in it (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Mission Beach, QLD, September 2020]

Closer look at a dense cluster of Metallic Starling nests (photo courtesy of M. Mearns)
[Cape York peninsula, QLD, October 2008]

Cluster of Metallic Starling nests nests in it (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Mission Beach, QLD, September 2020]

Cluster of Metallic Starling nests (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Cairns, QLD, December 2018]

The interesting detail in this construction is that the owners of the upper nests must be ok with others hanging off their support with the extra weight of additional nests (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Mission Beach, QLD, September 2020]

Eggs

"boyanga", "booyanga", "derinya", "dirandil", "koomura", "ngampu", "nooluk", "pateena" = Egg; "dirundirri" = eggs [Aboriginal]; "gawu" = eggs [gamilaraay]

Size: 30 x 21 mm Colour: Light-blue, with sparse light- to mid-brown speckles Shape: Tapered oval

Behaviour

Social behaviour: Communal Mobility: Migratory Elementary unit: Flock

Like most species, Metallic Starlings like a bath; and like basically everything else, they do it in numbers
(photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Oak Beach, QLD, December 2018]

Food, Diet

Metallic Starlings are omnivores, with a preference for insects and fruit.

Metallic Starling taking a fruit (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Port Douglas, QLD, July 2018]

Metallic Starlings having a drink of water (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Kingfisher Park, Julatten, QLD, November 2018]

Call(s)/Song

For this species we have recorded the following call(s)/song. The interpretation of their meaning is our own; comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

metstar_me_20200925.m4a (NE QLD) Chatter of nesting colony © ME

More Metallic Starling sound recordings are available at xeno-canto.org .

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

Would you like to contribute photos or sound recordings to this site?
If interested, please CLICK HERE. Credits to contributors are given HERE.