Rosy Pastor (Pastor roseus)
The Rosy Pastor (Pastor roseus) or the Rose Colored Starling or Rosy Starling is a pink and black colored starling, the size of a Mynah. With a wing span of 37 to 42 cms, length of 19 to 22 cms and weighing about 60 to 90 cms it can live up to 5 years. It has a glistening black head, neck and upper breast, wings and tail. The feathers on the crown and nape are crested sometimes erect. Males have a longer crest than females which gets fluffed up when the bird is excited. It is a winter migrant to India and starts arriving early, by about July and August and departs by April. It does not breed in India. It breeds in the steppes, semi-deserts and deserts across Western and Central Asia and South Eastern Europe. The southern most boundary has been reported to be Afghanistan. Vagrant adults may however be observed in other countries, away from breeding grounds. It is monogamous, breeding in large colonies of hundreds to several thousand nests. Females incubate the eggs. Both sexes feed the young. The prey base is composed of mainly locusts. Figs, berries and nectar of semal flowers (Bombax ceiba) also forms the food base, the flowers of which they often cross pollinate. Currently the species is under no threat.
This specimen was filmed in the outskirts of Bharatpur, Rajashtan in August.
Acknowledgements-Dr. Yashpal Singh, Mrs. Neena Singh, Mr. Rajesh Bedi, Manoj Kumar Yadav