Flocking of Asian Glossy Starlings

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During the evenings of the second half of September 2015, I began to notice small flocks of Asian Glossy Starlings (Aplonis panayensis) flying past my pair of Ceram Palms (Rhopaloblaste ceramica). Some of the starlings ended in the palms to rest for some time before dispersing together. The starlings were in their pre-roost phase, flying round and stopping in different trees around the area.

On two evenings during the end of the month, I began tracking such movements hoping to capture their displays on video (below). These small flocks appeared between 1800-1845 hours, once every ten minutes or so. On other days it can occur much earlier but around bigger trees in the neighbourhood.

I had not witnessed such displays before as they used to arrive at the palms in much smaller numbers only around 1830 hours – as seen HERE.

Besides such flocking, the starlings appeared a few hours earlier than usual. Can the current haze, courtesy of the Indonesian forest fires, has something to do with such behaviour?

YC Wee
Singapore
October 2015

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