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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

List of South African Birds

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