The New International Encyclopædia/Pastor
|←Paston Letters|| The New International Encyclopædia
|Edition of 1905. See also Pastor on Wikipedia, and the disclaimer.|
PASTOR (Lat., shepherd; so called because frequently seen near flocks of sheep). The popular, as well as the generic name of certain birds of the starling family (Sturnidæ). They differ from starlings in the compressed and slightly curved bill. In habits, as in structure and food, the groups are very similar. (See Oxpecker.) They are confined to the Old World, and especially to the Orient, though one species, the rose-colored pastor, or rose-starling (Pastor roseus), glossy black, with pink back and abdomen, is occasionally seen (sometimes in vast flocks) about the Mediterranean. It is not only a very handsome bird, but is very useful, especially where locusts occur, as the pastors eat the young locusts greedily, and are for this reason sometimes called ‘locust-birds’ (q.v.). In India the species is numerous and familiar, and is included with the mynas. See Plate of Larks and Starlings.