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Red-winged Starling

Afrikaans name: Rooivlerkspreeu

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Red-winged Starling

Photo © Steven Herbert

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Red-winged Starling

Above - Female Red-winged Starling

Photo © Steven Herbert

Onychognathus morio

The Red-winged Starling is quite large for a starling. They have a length approaching 30 cm with both sexes being a similar size.

Both male and female have the brownish-red wings which are only easily visible in flight. The male is a glossy black colour while the female is greyish on her head and neck.

These birds favour rocky mountains and hills but are also becoming more and more common in our cities and towns. High-rise buildings seem to provide a good enough habitat to make these birds feel at home.

Red-wing Starlings eat a variety of food including fruit, small reptiles and insects.

Outside of the breeding season the Red-winged Starlings may be found in flocks numbering a few hundred birds, although smaller flocks are encountered more regularly. During the breeding season they tend to be seen in pairs.

Despite favouring rocky areas they don’t always make their nests amongst rocks. They may also build their nests amongst vegetation or roots. Up to 4 eggs are laid and these are incubated by the female. The male assists with feeding the chicks.

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