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Norfolk Starling Aplonis fusca Scientific name definitions

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Version: 1.0 — Published March 4, 2020
Text last updated January 1, 2016

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Editor's Note: This is a shorter format account, originally published in HBW Alive. Please consider contributing your expertise to update and expand this account.

Systematics History

Editor's Note: This article requires further editing work to merge existing content into the appropriate Subspecies sections. Please bear with us while this update takes place.

Two subspecies recognized.


It seems certain that the extinction of race hulliana was attributable to the arrival of rats on the island in 1918, following a shipwreck. Its population in 1913–1915 numbered in the thousands; but it was not recorded after 1918 and was certainly extinct by 1928. The nominate race on Norfolk I was last recorded in 1923 (1), although its absence was not noted until 1968. The reasons for its extirpation are, however, less clear, as rats did not reach Norfolk I until the 1940s; it may have succumbed to habitat destruction (1). If it did persist undocumented until the 1940s, rats are likely to have played a part in its extinction (2). It probably inhabited forest and scrub, but it also fed on fruit and crops, and was even regarded as something of a pest (2).


Formerly Norfolk Is. Extinct; last reported 1923
Distribution of the Norfolk Starling
  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding
Distribution of the Norfolk Starling

Recommended Citation

(2020). Norfolk Starling (Aplonis fusca), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (J. del Hoyo, A. Elliott, J. Sargatal, D. A. Christie, and E. de Juana, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.