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26

Spotless Starling

(Sturnus unicolor)
German name(s): "Einfarbstar"
Size: 21-23 cm
Weight: 70-100 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 Spotless Starling at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

ADULT

BREEDING

MALE

Frontal view of a male Spotless Starling in breeding plumage; note the bluish-grey base of the bill (photo courtesy of J. Pires)
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, March 2014]

Frontal view of a male Spotless Starling in breeding plumage landing on a branch (photo courtesy of J. Pires)
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, May 2019]

Near-dorsal view of a male Spotless Starling in breeding plumage; note the bluish-grey base of the bill
(photo courtesy of J. Pires)
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, March 2014]

FEMALE

Near-frontal view of a male Spotless Starling in breeding plumage; note the yellowish-white base of the lower mandible
(photo courtesy of J. Pires)
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, January 2014]

Lateral view of a female Spotless Starling in breeding plumage (photo courtesy of J. Pires)
[Tejo estuary, Portugal, April 2019]

NON-BREEDING

Sex unknown

Lateral view of a Spotless Starling in non-breeding plumage (photo courtesy of J. Pires)
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, September 2015]

Comparison between Spotless Starlings, top, with a Common Starling in non-breeding plumage, bottom; of the four Spotless Starlings, 3 are adults (still) in breeding plumage, while the bird at the upper right is in eclipse (photo courtesy of J. Pires)
[Mertola, Alentejo, Portugal, October 2019]

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

Lateral view of a juvenile Spotless Starling; note the pale gape (photo courtesy of J. Pires)
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, June 2015]

Near-frontal view of a begging precocial Spotless Starling; note the orange gape (photo courtesy of J. Pires)
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, July 2015]

Lateral view of a begging precocial Spotless Starling; note the orange gape (photo courtesy of J. Pires)
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, July 2015]

Breeding information

Breeding season: Apr - Jul Eggs: 4 - 5 Incubation period: 11 - 14 days Fledging age: ca. 21 days

The length of the breeding season depends on geographic latitude and starts in March in north-western Africa. Spotless Starlings can have 1-2 broods per season.

Nest building: Male & female Incubation: Female (& male) Dependent care: Female & male

Nest

Type: Basket in hollow/crevice Material: Straw, grass, leaves, feathers Height above ground: ?

Male Spotless Starling at the entrance to its nest hollow (photo courtesy of J. Pires)
[Tejo estuary, Portugal, April 2019]

Eggs

Size: 31 x 22 mm Colour: Glossy white Shape: Tapered oval

Behaviour

Although sedentary, Spotless Starlings also congregate in flocks (photo courtesy of J. Pires)
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, October 2013]

Food, Diet

Lateral view of a Spotless Starling taking off with an olive (photo courtesy of J. Pires)
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, October 2015]

Lateral view of a Spotless Starling picking flesh out of a fig (photo courtesy of J. Pires)
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, October 2013]

Spotless Starling taking a mulberry (photo courtesy of J. Pires)
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, May 2019]

Spotless Starling carrying food for its brood (photo courtesy of J. Pires)
[Tejo estuary, Portugal, April 2019]

Spotless Starling carrying food for its young - given the size of the mulberries, they may be for fledged chicks
(photo courtesy of J. Pires)
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, May 2019]

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.

splstar_jp_190606_2.m4a (Ctl Portugal) Contact calls(?) © JP
splstar_jp_190606.m4a (Ctl Portugal) Various © JP

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.

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