Listen to the song of the Bali starling

As you wander through the grounds of the Bali temple, you will hear the beautiful sounds of the Bali starling – one of the rarest birds in the world.

The temple is the perfect place to relax; you’re surrounded by the tranquil chimes of the temple, soothing sounds from the water feature and the unique song of the Bali starling. Let yourself unwind as you look out for the birds flying around you.

Water feature in Bali starling temple, Islands at Chester Zoo

The Bali starling is hard to miss; it’s mainly white except for the tips of its wings and tail and have a splash of blue around its eyes. It can be heard singing a number of songs, from loud whistles and chuckles to quiet chirps. They even have a flight call which they make when they take off.

Bali starling in Islands at Chester Zoo

This starling is the national mascot of Bali but despite this they are suffering from being hunted for the illegal songbird trade, where wealthy individuals display them outside their home, restaurant or building as a status symbol.

It’s such a shame that their beauty and song is one of the reasons why it is hunted so much.

The species was only discovered 100 years ago, but since then it’s not had much of an existence as it was hunted to near extinction in the wild.

Bali starling at Chester Zoo

In 2001 there were only six Bali starlings left in the wild but after remarkable conservation breeding efforts this number has increased. However, despite conservationists best efforts the number is still worryingly low so the breeding and release projects are extremely important for the long-term survival of the species.

We provide skills, expertise and funding for an important breeding centre on the island and, alongside the Begawan Foundation we help with the breeding and release programme and monitoring of wild populations. Find out more about the conservation work we’re doing to help protect the Bali starling on our Act for Wildlife website, here.