Aplonis corvina (Kittlitz)

Kosrae Starling (Aplonis corvina)  

The 20 to 25 cm long Kosrae Starling occurred only in the mountain forests of the island of Kosrae, the species is known from only five specimens, that were shot in the years 1827 and 1828.  

Friedrich Heinrich von Kittlitz writes in 1832 in his work ‘Kupfertafeln zur Naturgeschichte der Vögel’ about this bird.:  

Fig.3 is a new species, which I found on the island of Ualan, and have named Lamprothornis corvina. Description and life-sized portraiture ought to have appeared in the newest memoirs of the Academy of Petersburg. It obviously connects itself to Fig 2 [Aplonis opaca], but also differs very essential from this by its far more animalic diet; large insects, as cicadas and suchlike, and small lizards, making up the main objects of the very same and only secondarily exchange with fruits, and yet the stomach is smaller and much more muscular as in that species. This is a very lonely bird, which inhabits the deepest mountainous woodlands and flees the vicinity of humans; the still unmoulted young are yellowish white and mottled blackish brown, in the olds both sexes black. ”  

The species died out short time after, even field searches at the end of the 19th century were unsuccessful.  



[1] Dieter Luther: Die ausgestorbenen Vögel der Welt. Westarp Wissenschaften 1986 [2] Errol Fuller: Extinct Birds. Penguin Books (England) 1987  


Depiction from: ‘F. H. von Kittlitz: Über einige noch unbeschriebene Vögel von der Insel Luzon, den Carolinen und den Marianen. Mémoires présentés à l’Académie Impériale des Sciences de St. Petersbourg par divers Savants et lus dans ses Assemblées 2: 1-10. 1835’  

(public domain)


edited: 17.10.2020