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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.

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References and further reading

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

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

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

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

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

Everyone's Guide to South African Birds - Author: John Sinclair and John Mendelsohn - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 36

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

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

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

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

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

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Dr. Austin Roberts - Year Published: 1949 - Page: 316

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

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

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 - 1st Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Year Published: 1993 - Page: 370

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

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

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

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

List of South African Birds

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