Starlings (Sturnidae) - African Wildlife and Nature Photographs


Family: Sturnidae

Starlings are one of the most common species of birds worldwide including birds in the Arctic Circle and Southern Africa, has some 14 species which is quite diverse and numerous for a bird species on one continent.

Common species include the Pied Starling, Red-wing Starling and Greater blued Starling, with the Cape Glossy Starling (Lamprotornis nitens) probably being the best known, some African Starlings are even known to be migratory.

Adult Starlings are generally small to medium sized passerines, birds varying in size from 15 (cm) 6 in up to a whopping 36 cm (14 in) and are highly sociable birds usually associating in large flocks. A flock of starlings has that intriguing 'collective noun' called a 'murmuration' a great video of a murmuration of starlings is where you can clearly see them flocking together in an amazing flight.

Starlings are generally fairly gregarious birds (living in flocks or loosely organised communities) and prefer a open habit where they can search for insects and fruits which leads them to be a great dispenser of seeds but generally its an omnivorous diet they pursue.

African Starlings tend however to be found in open woodlands and savannah. In South Africa the red-winged starling is an important seed dispenser of the introduced Red- eyed Wattle (Acacia cyclops)  which helps stabilise the coastal sands.

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