Kosrae Island Starlings

Starlings

Photo Wanted The Kosrae Island Starling (Aplonis corvina) is an extinct bird from the family of starlings (Sturnidae). It was endemic to the montane forests on the island of Kosrae which belong to the Caroline Islands in the south-western Pacific.


Description

It reached a length between 20 and 25.4 centimetres. It was crow-like, glossy black and had at long curved bill as well as a long tail.


Extinction

The Kosrae Island Starling is only known by five specimens which were obtained between December 1827 and January 1828 by the Kittlitz Expedition. Three skins can be seen in the Museum of Saint Petersburg in Russia and two further in the Museum Naturalis in Leiden.

In 1880 an expedition led by Otto Finsch was no more able to find this bird. Another survey by the Whitney South Seas Expedition of the American Museum of Natural History in 1931 brought the evidence that this species was extinct.

Its extinction was most likely caused by rats which could escape from Finnish whaling vessels during the 19th century and became whitespread on Kosrae.


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