Red-winged Starling

No that is not a mistake. We are so used to Red-winged Blackbirds and Starlings in North America that it comes as a surprise that there is a bird named the Red-winged Starling.


And yet one of the birds that I saw repeatedly in Cape Town, South Africa was the Red-winged Starling.

These birds are in the Starling family and native to East Africa from Ethiopia to the Cape of Good Hope.


It may be found in forest, savannah, grassland, farmland and in urban centers. 

It has become common in urban areas due to the similarity between the structure of tall buildings and houses as nesting spots with the cliffs of its original habitat.

photo: Tanzania Bird Atlas

The red colouration is not always obvious except when in flight.

it can be a pest in some areas, raiding orchards and attacking people that wander too close to their nests.

photo: flickr

Miles Hearn



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