Brahminy Starling Sturnia pagodarum
- Sturnia : Latin word for starling
- Pagodarum: Latin word for “ Of the temples, Holy”
Vernacular Names :Hindi: Brahminimyna, Puhaia, Kalasirmyna, U.P.: Pabiyapawi, Pun: Bahminimaina, Ben: Monghyrpawi, Bamanimyna, Harbola, Guj: Babbai, Brahmanimena, Shyamashirbabbayi, Mar: Bahmanymaina, Papya, Bhangpady Myna, Ori: Chutiabani, Ta: Kondaimyna, Papatapariki, Pappatthimyna, Rawanati, Te: Papatagorinka, Mal: Karimtalaichikkili
Distribution in India:Widespread Resident
Description: Size of 20-21 cm. The male has glossy black forehead and crown , nape is cinnamon with pale shaft streaks, back and rump are grey, tinged brown; upper wing-coverts are grey, tinged with brown, primaries are dull brownish-black with some white at base; tail are grey-brown, all except central feather pair with white tip, white area becoming broader on outer feathers, particularly outer web of outermost feather. The side of neck, chin, throat and underparts are cinnamon, feathers of upper breast have pale shafts, flanks are greyer. The iris is pale greenish, small bare patch of whitish skin behind eye; bill is yellow distally, bluish basally, often with some dull greenish in between; legs are lemon-yellow. The female is like male, but crest is shorter, hackles shorter, mantle is darker.
Habitat: It is found in open deciduous forest, scrub, and cultivated areas near human habitation; especially fond of waterlogged areas,lowlands and hills
Food Habits: It eats insects like caterpillars, beetles, termites, bees, flies, bugs and earwigs. It also eats seeds & fruit like figs and also nectar. Nestlings are fed mainly with insects, particularly caterpillars and beetles. It forages extensively on ground, especially among cattle in moist grassland, walking rather than hopping; feeds also in small groups in flowering and fruiting trees, and hunts insects in canopy. It often forages in association with other starlings.
Breeding Habits: They breed in Apr–Jul in North India and Feb–May in South India. They are monogamous and colonial where sufficient nest-holes available else solitary. The nest is built by both sexes. Nest is an untidy structure of dry grass, dead leaves, paper and other material, lined with finer material, placed in hole in tree, often one made by Woodpecker or Barbet or nest of Tit taken over, or sometimes hole in wall or roof of building used. They lay a clutch of 3–5 eggs. Incubation is done by both sexes, female playing greater role, male feeds female on nest. The incubation period is 12 days; chicks are fed by both parents. The nestling period is 18–21 days