DESCRIPTION: Adult male in breeding plumage has black head, neck, throat and upper breast. The head shows elongated feathers on the nape, forming an erectile crest. On the upperparts, back and rump are glossy pink. Wings are blackish-brown with glossy green secondaries. The uppertail is blackish-brown too, with green iridescence. On the underparts, lower breast and belly are pale pink. The undertail-coverts are blacksih, as the thighs. The bill is pink with black base in breeding plumage. The eyes are dark brown. Legs and feet are yellowish-brown.
The Rosy Starling frequents the open steppes during the breeding season, where it can find abundant Orthopterans. The colonies are often established near water and in valleys.
They move to more forested areas after breeding.
Outside this period, this species occurs in several types of habitats, as well wooded areas as open country.
They roost at night with other Sturnidae species in trees, thorny bushes and reedbeds, and often gather at daytime roosts near their feeding areas.
The Rosy Starling feeds primarily on insects during the breeding season, and mainly locusts. It takes fruits in autumn. In winter, it consumes insects, fruits, seeds and nectar from flowers.
The locusts are caught on the ground. It forages usually in flocks and is highly gregarious all year round. The Rosy Starling is monogamous and nests in huge colonies from hundreds to several thousands of birds. The season is short and closely associated to food resources.
The Rosy Starling feeds primarily on flightless locusts and other grasshoppers. It also takes bugs, ants, beetles, moths and caterpillars. Spiders, woodlice and snails are eaten too.
After the breeding season, it consumes fruits (wild and cultivated species), seeds of cereals and nectar from several flowers. It may follow cattle. It forages in flocks, sometimes very large ones.