The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Pied Starling

Afrikaans name: Witgatspreeu

Pied Starling

Photo © Steven Herbert

Spreo bicolor

The Pied Starling is endemic to South Africa and can be seen over large parts of the country. It is not found in the northern and eastern parts of South Africa.

These Starlings are not found in towns. They prefer areas with long grass and can often be seen on the verges of country roads. Pied Starlings are normally seen in small flocks.

Pied Starlings spend most of their time on the ground looking for insects which form the bulk of their diet. They also eat some fruit, nectar and seeds.

They normally nest in colonies which may range from just a few pairs to many thousands. Each breeding pair is assisted by younger or non-breeding pairs. The female lays between 2 and 6 eggs and she incubates them. Once the chicks hatch both adults, and their helpers, feed the chicks.

References and further reading

Wildlife of Southern Africa - Author: Martin Withers and David Hosking - Published: 2011 - Page: 176

Wild About Johannesburg - Author: Duncan Butchart - Published: 1995 - Page: 58

The Sandton Field Guide - Author: Sandton Nature Conservation Society - Published: 1982 - Page: 62

Southern African Bird Names Explained - Author: Charles Clinning - Published: 1989 - Page: 133

The Birds of South Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Dr. Austin Roberts - Published: 1949 - Page: 316

The Birds of South Africa - Author: Hazel Stokes - Published: 1979 - Page: 43

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Published: 2011 - Page: 402

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Published: 1993 - Page: 370

Roberts Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Published: 1993 - Page: 666

Roberts Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Published: 1985 - Page: 668

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 4th Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1981 - Page: 531

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 3rd Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1975 - Page: 518

Ian Sinclairs Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair - Published: 1988 - Page: 290

More Garden Birds of Southern Africa - Author: P. Ginn & G. McIlleron - Published: 1981 - Page: 44

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 1984 - Page: 382

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 7th Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 2000 - Page: 382

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 2nd edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1957 - Page: 401

Field Guide to the Cradle of Humankind - Author: B. Hilton-Barber & Prof. L. R. Berger - Published: 2004 - Page: 188

Garden Birds in South Africa - Author: Duncan Butchart - Published: 2017 - Page: 123

Everyones Guide to South African Birds - Author: John Sinclair and John Mendelsohn - Published: 1987 - Page: 36

Collins Illustrated Checklist - Birds of Southern Africa - 1st edition - Author: Ber van Perlo - Published: 1999 - Page: 74

A Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: O.P.M. Prozesky - Published: 1983 - Page: 279

A First Guide to South African Birds - 6th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Published: 1959 - Page: 43

A First Guide to South African Birds - 7th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Published: 1975 - Page: 43

Bird Atlas of Natal - Author: Digby Cyrus and Nigel Robson - Published: 1980 - Page: 258

Birds of the Natal Drakensberg Park - Author: Robin Little and William Bainbridge - Published: 1992 - Page: 102

Birds of the South Western Cape - Author: Joy Frandsen - Published: 0 - Page: 203

Birds of the Transkei - Author: C.D. Quickelberge - Published: 1989 - Page: 111

Birds of the Transvaal - Author: Tarboton, Kemp and Kemp - Published: 1987 - Page: 238

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