[Hong Kong] Colour-ringed White-shouldered Starlings 灰背椋鳥套上色環

Colour-ringed White-shouldered Starlings 灰背椋鳥套上色環

Last year, Hong Kong Ringing Group colour-ringed a total of 64 White-shouldered Starlings to help understand the local movements of this species. I would like to remind birdwatchers in HK to report any resightings of these birds.

To date, 10 birds have been resighted at Lok Ma Chau, Kam Tin, Mai Po and San Tin. The preliminary suggestion from these observations is that different populations are present in HK during summer and winter, although more resightings would be useful to confirm this.

All birds ringed in 2006 carry a white ring above the metal ring on the right leg and a combination of 3 rings (white, black, red, blue or yellow) on the left leg. In 2007 we intend to use the same system but to use red rings on the right leg so that the year of trapping can be easily recognised.

I realise that the species is scarce in winter and can be difficult to see, but the rings may be easier to read at this time of year (when there are less leaves on the trees). If you are lucky enough to find a colour-ringed bird, please report it to me via the website or via email (jallcock@

Thank you







Another reminder to keep your eyesopen for colour-ringed White-shouldered Starlings. Flocks should be easier to find over the next few weeks as they start to return to breeding sites and passage birds move through Hong Kong.

I have already recorded 1 colour-ringed bird among 6 birds investigating nest sites at Kam Tin. Unfortunately I couldn't get a clear view of the leg to read all 3 rings but I hope to try again soon.

Initial results suggest that there are separate breeding and wintering populations in Hong Kong but we need more data to support this.


i think this bird is one of these ringed starlings.


You're right, it is one of our colour-ringed birds.

This is a good reminder for everyone to keep an eye out for colour-ringed white-shouldered starlings. About 100 have now been marked since 2006 and these could start turning up in the next few weeks as they return to breeding sites.


I have spotted 2 White-shouldered Starlings on the Access Road near Mai Po car park on 21May08!
They stand on a cable! I took some photos for them and found one of them was ringed!

Then I found them visit a electric box under the cable.
I wondered whether they nesting in the box, so I took a look for the electrice box after they left.
Finally, I found a dead bird were hanged, and I have informed AFCD to collect it then!


21May08_0113b.jpg (53.18 KB)

11/06/2008 23:57


21May08_0114.jpg (37.04 KB)

11/06/2008 23:57


21May08_0120.jpg (87.79 KB)

11/06/2008 23:57



Last Sunday I saw one ringed starling on the access road leading to Mai Po.


DSC_7885s.jpg (96.55 KB)

12/06/2008 00:32



I have also seen this bird at Mai Po, when she was colecting nest material.

She was ringed at Kam Tin in April 2006, so it is a little surprising that she has now turned up at Mai Po!


Mai Po Access Road
Love photographing Creator's work


14 May 2009
Mai Po Access Road
same individual as above. It ate a large mantis before i take the photo of it.


Well done, Beetle. It's great to know this bird is back again. I have been looking out in the Mai Po area, and I know the Mai Po staff have been checking as well.
I also had a resighting of one of the colour-ringed starlings at Kam Tin recently, of a bird that had previously been ringed at Kam Tin in 2007. Also I know of a resighting this year of a bird ringed as a chick at Lok Ma Chau.

Please remember to keep a look out for these colour-ringed starlings and report them so that we can try to understand the local movements.


The bird photographed above (Left: White, Right: Red-White-Blue) was seen feeding around the Peter Scott Center this morning (22-Apr 09:45) near one of the nest box we've set up.

Would be interesting to see if it will choose to nest in one of the nest box.

This is the 3rd consecutive year it is back to Mai Po (?).



This bird was seen resting on the tree behind WWF office MP on 2010-5-16. Single bird.
和諧共處  善用自然


Thank you for reporting these observations. Please keep reporting any colour-ringed White-shouldered Starligs you may find.
I have also seen another individual nesting along the Mai Po Access Road this year, and one nesting at Kam Tin. There have also been observations at Lok Ma Chau.
It would be very interesting if anyone can find any more individuals, especially at other locations.


Just list out what I saw (not ringed individual):
This year a pair or few pairs nesting in Mai Po fishpond (Mr. Yeung's fishpond adjacent to MPNR). Besides, one to two indiviudals were seen in Ping Yeung area. Interesting, I saw one flying toward Shenzhen direction with a large group of Crested Myna at evening for night roosting.
Two years ago, I saw one pair nesting in Sheung Tsuen, Shek Kong.


[ Last edited by gary at 23/05/2010 12:50 ]




Yesterday on 06/06/2010 at around 5:47pm, I saw a ringed White-shouldered Starling on the access road very close to the MP car park.  It had 3 rings, red/white/black from top-down, on the left leg, while 2 rings, blue/silver from top-down, on the right one.  There seemed to be a “9” on the silver metal ring.  I’m not sure whether this mattered your discussion;I uploaded this anyway for your reference.

[ Last edited by earnest at 7/06/2010 15:51 ]


Thank you for posting your photo, Earnest. I have also seen this individual near Mai Po on 17 May, when she was nest-building - it is good to know that she is now feeding chicks. She was ringed as a chick in 2009 at the MTRC managed area at Lok Ma Chau. You are correct that there is a 9 in the ring combination (RW44794).

We have ringed a large number of chicks this year, more than in previous years. Can I ask everyone to please keep an eye out for birds as they move around in post-fledging flocks. If you are lucky enough to see any with colour rings, please report them including the location (as accurately as possible please, ideally a GPS location or map), flock size, sex (if possible) and any significant behaviour (especially if nesting). I would also be interested in getting photos of birds whenever possible.


We have been able to increase effort this year, thanks to an increased number of nestboxes provided by MTRC at their wetland sites at Lok Ma Chau Spur Line and West Rail. A total of 283 White-shouldered Starlings have been colour-ringed so far this year, mostly at Lok Ma Chau (240) but also at Kam Tin (43).

As birds disperse away from the nesting sites, they are turning up further afield - I have seen several colour ringed birds around the Deep Bay fishponds and Kam Tin. I have also seen one of this year's birds at Mai Po.

Can anyone out watching or photographing birds please keep a look out for these birds and report any sightings. All birds have three colour rings on the left leg and either one or two colour rings (plus a metal ring) on the right leg. The rings are fairly obvious in the field, but it can sometimes take a certain amount of patience to read the combination of colours. Photographing birds would certainly make this easier!

If you are lucky enough to see one of these birds, please contact me or post to this website. All information avialble would be useful, including date, location (include a map or GPS location if possible, please), age, sex, flock size and behaviour.

We are hoping sightings will provide useful information on dispersal, migratory behaviour, survival, site fidelity and population dynamics.

Thank you


2011-05-12 Mai Po Carpark

Mad Cat The Bon
走過東南, 越過西北;  快樂短暫, 路卻漫長...


Thank you MadCat. As you may have noticed, this is the same bird which has been recorded breeding close to the Mai Po Car Park for the last four years (since 2008). I had heard that she may be back this year, but this is the first confirmation I know about.

Please remember to keep a look out for colour-ringed starlings and report any that you might see.


Photo from my friend (Austin NG).
The Nest Box is located near Kam Tin KCR Wetland Compensation Area, under the bridge of KCR West Rail Line.

The Ringed Bird is a female. The colour rings at the bird's right leg are yellow, red, white (from top). And it seems a yellow ring at her left leg.

[ Last edited by Sze at 15/06/2011 00:35 ]


Thank you Sze. The combination on the right leg is actually Yellow/Red/Metal, which indicates that the bird was ringed last year (2010). The combination on the left leg would be important for individual ID - unfortunately I can't quite see it on this bird. If there are clearer pictures, that may be useful. I will also look for the bird when I am nesxt at Kam Tin.
Of interest, another colour-ringed Starling (Yellow/Metal on right, White/Black/Yellow on left) is also nesting in the nestboxes at this location during 2011.


Hi John,

Thank you so much for your information!
More photos from my friend which he took today! (except the last one!)


Thanks Sze. These photos confirm this female to be Yellow/Red/Black on the left leg. This bird was ringed at this same location at Kam Tin almost exactly a year ago, on 12th June 2010. this is the first resighting.
The male photographed (White/Black/Yellow) is also a year old and has been present at this site since at least early May, and has probably already fledged a brood this year.


John! You are welcom and thanks for your information too!