Rarotonga starling

Aplanis cinerascens subfamily

Sturninae taxonomy

Aplonis cinerascens Hartlaub and Finsch, 1871. other common names

French: Stourne de Rarotonga; German: Rarotongastar; Spanish: Estornino de Rarotonga.

physical characteristics

8.3 in (21 cm). A chunky gray-brown bird with white undertail-coverts.

distribution

Mountains of Rarotonga in the Cook Islands.

habitat

Undisturbed mountain forests. behavior

Quiet, inconspicuous, shy, solitary or in pairs, usually found in the forest canopy.

feeding ecology and diet

Sparse data suggest a diet of diverse insects, fruit, and possibly nectar.

reproductive biology

Cavity nester. Only two nests known; nest materials are dried leaves and other plant fibers.

conservation status

Vulnerable; in 1987, the population in the wild was estimated at fewer than 100 birds. Major problems include habitat destruction and predation by introduced black rats.

significance to humans None known. ♦

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