The breeding range of this bird is from easternmost Europe across temperate southern Asia. It is a strong migrant, and winters in India and tropical Asia. In India in winter, it often appears to outnumber the local starlings and mynas.
This is a bird of steppe and open agricultural land. In years when grasshoppers and other insects are abundant, it will erupt well beyond its core range, with significant numbers reaching France and the UK.
This is a colonial breeder, and like other starlings, is highly gregarious, forming large winter flocks. It also shares the other species’ omnivorous diet, although with a preference for insects.
The adult of this species is highly distinctive, with its pink body, legs and bill, and glossy black head, wings and tail. The juvenile can be distinguished from Common Starling, Sturnus vulgarus by its obviously paler plumage and short yellow bill.
The song is a typical starling mixture of squeaks and rattles, given with much wing trembling.
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