Just a quick post this week, as I’m rushed for time and stressed about house buying. And you really don’t want me posting about that. So, anyway, Pied Starlings.

IMG_5313Pied Starlings don’t need to get their black feet into the property market and are much happier because of it. They will sit on tiles in search of a scrap though.

Africa is home to many striking and brightly coloured members of the starling family, a family that gets short thrift in many parts of the world due to the widespread introduction of a few rather, uh, domineering, species. The Pied Starling is not brightly coloured or shiny, even if it is, as as only recently been realised, it is in the genus of glossy starlings found across Africa, Lamprotornis.

IMG_5306Pied Starlings are black and white, as their name suggets. They aren’t closely related to Asian Pied Starlings though.

It’s endemic to Southern Africa, and not uncommon in its range. I didn’t see them often, but that was a product of the places I went. The first time I saw them I only noticed them after a few minutes as they were feeding with introduced Common Myna. It was a very damp day and so I didn’t stay with them long, so I was glad to come across them as a common resident of the town of Wakkerstroom (a very birdy town). It was here I was able to photograph a few to share with you.



So go to South Africa and find one!

Written by Duncan
Duncan Wright is a Wellington-based ornithologist working on the evolution of New Zealand's birds. He's previously poked albatrosses with sticks in Hawaii, provided target practice for gulls in California, chased monkeys up and down hills Uganda, wrestled sharks in the Bahamas and played God with grasshopper genetics in Namibia. He came into studying birds rather later in life, and could quit any time he wants to.