The Rosy Starling or Pastor is a passerine bird in the starling family STURNIDAE, also known as Rose-Coloured Starling or Rose-Coloured Pastor.
The adult of this species is highly distinctive with its pink body, pale0orange legs and bill, glossy black head, wings and tail. Males, in the breeding season, have elongated head feathers which form a wispy crest that is fluffed and more prominent when the bird gets excited. The crest is shorter in winter and the black areas have paler feather edges, which get worn away as well as the black becoming more glossy in the breeding season.
Winter plumage, in males, is rather dull. Females have a short crest and are dull overall, especially without the sharp separation between pink and black. The breeding range of this bird is from easternmost Europe across temperate Southern Asia. It is a strong migrant, and winters in India and tropical Asia. In India, in winter, it often appears to outnumber the local starlings and mynas.
The Rosy Starling is a bird of steppe and open agricultural land. In years when grasshoppers and insects are abundant, it will erupt well beyond its core range with significant numbers reaching France and the United Kingdom. It is a colonial breeder and is highly gregarious, forming large winter flocks. Its song is a typical starling mixture of squeaks and rattles, given with much wing trembling.
In Xinjiang, China, farmers used to use insecticides to eliminate locust, which is costly and polluting. In the 1980s, experts found that Rosy Starlings, which fly to Xinjiang farms and feed on locusts, could be used for locust-control instead. The experts begin to build artificial nests to attract Rosy Starlings, an effort to be reported to be so successful, that the number of locusts was insufficient to feed the birds, causing many juveniles to die of hunger. By the 2000s, many Xinjiang farms greatly decreased the usage of insecticides.