White Faced Starling
Sri Lanka White-faced Starling "Sturnus albifrontatus" (Layare, 1854)
White-faced Starling males reach a length of about 21.6 cm, the females being somewhat smaller. Young individuals have a brown iris with a faint white outer ring. The white on the head appears during the first year. The sexes are alike, both in juveniles and adults.
White-faced Starlings are purely arboreal in their habits, almost never being seen on the ground. They feed on fruits and insects, stealthily and gracefully waking up to them along branches. White-faced starlings are common members of the mixed species feeding flocks. Their call (short chirps) is heard mostly when they are in small flocks.
Until very recently, nothing was known about the breeding and nesting habits. We now know that they nest in the cavities of trees at fairly high elevations. The eggs are pale blue and measure 25 x 20 mm. The only nest recorded so far contained two eggs.
White-faced starlings occur over a narrow altitudinal range, from about 300 meters above the sea level, to around 1,200 meters. They are seen mainly on the slopes of the southwestern and southern hills, almost always in undisturbed natural forest.