Starlings, Mynas

Common Starling

Glossy black plumage, with iridescent purple and green; plumage spotted with buff and white; hackled feathers on head, neck and breast; yellowish beak and red-brown legs. Summer (breeding) plumage mostly blackish. Several races winter in N India, with head purple or bronze-green, but field identification of races  not very easy in winter. Gregarious, restless birds; feeds on ground, moving hurriedly, digging with beak in soil; entire flock may often take off from ground; flies around erratically or circles, but soon settles on trees or returns to ground.

Chestnut-tailed Starling

Medium-sized grey and chestnut starling, with white irises; head and neck pale grey, usually with whitish shafts or hackles; upperparts grey; underparts rufous chestnut; hackles on breast; prominent blue base to yellow bill; tail chestnut, with central feathers grey; female duller, paler; racial variations; very gregarious;
usually in noisy feeding flocks; mainly arboreal, though will descend to lower fruiting, flowering shrubs, or to ground; acrobatic feeder.

Rosy Starling

Sexes alike. Rose-pink and black plumage; glossy black head, crest, neck, throat, upper breast, wings and tail; rest of plumage rose-pink, brighter with the approach of spring migration. Gregarious; flocks often contain young birds, crestless, dull brown and sooty; often along with other mynas on flowering Erythrina and Bombax trees; causes enormous damage to standing crops; seen also around grazing cattle and damp open lands; overall an aggressive and extremely noisy bird; huge roosting colonies, resulting in deafening clamour before settling.

Brahminy Starling

Sexes alike. A grey, black and rufous myna; black crown, head and crest; grey back; rich-buff sides of head, neck and underbody; black wings and brown tail with white sides and tip distinctive in flight. Female has a slightly smaller crest, otherwise like male. Small parties, occasionally collecting into flocks of 20 birds; associates with other birds on flowering trees or on open lands; walks typical myna style, head held straight up, confident in looks; communal roosting-sites, with other birds.

Asian Pied Starling

Sexes alike. Black and white (pied) plumage distinctive; orange-red beak and orbital skin in front of eyes confirm identity. Sociable; small parties either move on their own or associate with other birds, notably other mynas and drongos; rather common and familiar over its range but keeps a distance from man; may make its ungainly nest in garden trees, but never inside houses, nor does it enter houses; more a bird of open, cultivated areas, preferably where there is water; attends to grazing cattle; occasionally raids standing crops.

Bank Myna

Sexes alike. Similar to Common Myna but smaller; has bluishgrey neck, mantle and underparts; black head with orange-red wattle around the eye; orange-yellow bill; buff-orange tailtips and wing-patch. Usually observed in small, scattered groups around human habitation; bold and confiding; often seen along roadside restaurants picking out scraps.

Common Myna

Sexes alike. Rich vinous-brown plumage; black head, neck and upper breast; yellow beak, legs and naked wattle around eyes distinctive; large white spot in
dark brown flight feathers, best seen in flight; blackish tail, with broad white tips to all but central feathers; whitish abdomen. Solitary, or in scattered pairs or small, loose bands India's most common and familiar bird; hardly ever strays far from man and habitation; rather haughty and confident in looks; aggressive, curious and noisy; struts about on ground, picks out worms; attends to grazing cattle and refuse dumps; enters verandahs and kitchens, sometimes even helping itself on dining tables.