Animal of the Month : September 2018
The Bali Starling is a bird of many aliases – Bali Mynah, Rothschild’s Mynah, Rothschild’s Starling and even the Jalak Bali! It has a colourful past, being the mascot of the Indonesian island of Bali and has a long association with the famous Rothschild family. It has the dubious distinction of being one of the world’s rarest birds, at one time thought to be down to a mere handful of individuals in the wild.
The Bali Starling, with its pure white plumage, white crest and piratical blue eye patches, has always been a favourite with bird collectors. This popularity has seen numbers dwindle alarmingly in their natural habitat, as these birds are highly sought after as caged ‘pets’ in much of Indonesia and south-east Asia.
At the Park, they can be found in our Tropical House where they have bred successfully and offspring have been sent to other collections to form breeding pairs as part of the European captive breeding programme for this species. Ours have been so productive over the years that another flock can be found in an outdoor aviary near the exit of the Tropical House, bringing a touch of the tropics to our Walled Garden.