Photographing The Rosy Starling

Top tips on finding and photographing the rosy starling from Eschenbach binoculars.

| Eschenbach Arena D+ 10x50 B in Animals / Wildlife

Photographing The Rosy Starling: Rosy starling

The rosy starling is at home in the desert landscapes of Eastern Europe and Asia. But that's not the only thing that distinguishes it from our western European starlings.


Although the rosy starling differs significantly from its better known relative, the common starling - they also share similarities. Both are good flyers with their short tail and pointed wings. The rosy starling may look a bit bigger but in fact both species are generally around 19 to 22 centimeters long.

Male rosy starlings are unmistakable. The main color of their plumage is the whitish pink on their belly and upper back. The head, wings and tail are black with green metallic shimmers. Males have a crest formed by the black feathers on the back of the neck. Females have an overall duller plumage and a much smaller crest.



Rosy starlings mainly breed in Central Asia as well as in the south and east of Europe. They can be found from northern Mongolia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan to the south of Russia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Armenia. Occasionally they even reach as far as Hungary, but are becoming increasingly rare in Western Europe. Since rosy starlings are quite popular among bird breeders, they also are not uncommon as pet birds.

In their breeding grounds, the birds mainly inhabit steppes, semi-desert and desert landscapes. Although they require direct access to water, they are not dependent on wetlands or coasts.

You’ll probably never observe a rosy starling alone in its wintering ground. These long-distance migrants are highly gregarious and gather in large numbers to fly to India and Sri Lanka where they spend most of the year.


Behavior and facts

Rosy starlings are often considered to be very useful birds because they mainly feed on locusts and grasshoppers during the breeding season and thus help mitigate the damages caused by migratory locust swarms. A flock of hundreds of starlings can do a great job for farmers, preying on pests like grasshoppers. In autumn and winter, they supplement their diet with fruits, nectar and seeds.

For the birds living in the east, the breeding season begins in April. The nest, made of thin twigs and grass, can basically be built anywhere: in crevices, under railway sleepers, bridges or roots, in old tree-holes or thatched roofs. They female lays three to six pale blue eggs and both parents take turns incubating them for about two weeks. Once the chicks have hatched, they remain in the nest for about 24 more days and are fed by both parents.

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