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Pied Starling | Spreo bicolor

The Pied Starling is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Sturnidae bird family group which includes birds such as Starlings, Mynans, Oxpeckers.

The description for the Pied Starling (Latin name Spreo bicolor) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Spreo bicolor can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 759 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 968. You will find a picture of the Pied Starling on page 976.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

Neither the Latin nor the Engish name for this bird has been affected by recent nomenclature modifications ? these changes have been incorporated into Robert's 7th Edition where appropriate.

The Pied Starling is known in Afrikaans as Witgatspreeu.

The Pied Starling is Endemic to the Southern African Region which means that this bird is only found in this region and nowhere else in the world.

The Pied Starling has a height of 25 cms and weighs around 100 gms. The head is coloured brown while the bill is coloured black. The Spreo bicolor has a black coloured throat, black legs and a black coloured back. The eyes are white.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is brown

Eyes are white

Bill is black

Legs are black

Throat is black

Back is black

Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground

The Spreo bicolor attacks its prey aerially and feeds on wing or takes the prey to a secluded venue where it is killed, torn into small pieces and eaten

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten .

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Pied Starling is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 2 to 4 eggs and they are coloured white.

The nest is built high up in the tree canopy and is protected from predators by branches and the dense green foligae.

The Pied Starling is mainly found in light and densely wooded forests, where there are Mopane trees.

The bird is mainly found in the Savanna grasslands where it breeds and feeds.

The bird is found in the African bushveld

The bird is at home in riverine forests and close to water bodies such as lakes, dams and streams

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The Pied Starling is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.

This bird is usually seen in small family groups or in large flocks

The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."

copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105

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