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Red-winged Starling - BirdForum Opus

Alternative name: Redwing; African Red-winged Starling

Male Red-winged Starling
Photo by volker sthamer
Yabello, Ethiopia
Onychognathus morio


30cm (11¾ in). A dark starling with a rather long tail.

  • Iridescent black plumage - but much less likely to show blue iridescence than for example Cape Glossy Starling
  • Chestnut flight-feathers
  • Dark red eye
  • Black bill and legs

Females have an ash-grey head and upper breast. Juveniles resemble males but are less glossy than adults and has brown eyes.

Similar species

Pale-winged Starling differs in eye color


Female Red-winged Starling
Photo by Alan Manson
Giants Castle, KwaZulu-Natal Drakensberg, South Africa, August 2008

Eastern Africa from Ethiopia to the Cape in South Africa.
Abundant in many areas.


Onychognathus morio has two subspecies:1

Has been considered to form a superspecies with Tristram's Starling.


Rocky cliffs, outcrops and gorges, as well as urban areas.



Although they are omnivorous and opportunistic feeders, their diet consists mostly of fruit.


They build a nest of grass and twigs, with a mud base, on a ledge. The clutch consists of 2–4, blue eggs with reddish-brown spots which are incubated by the female for 13–14 days. The young fledge about 22–28 days hatching. They often have a second brood.

It may be parasitised by the Great Spotted Cuckoo.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2016. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2016, with updates to August 2016. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliott, and D Christie, eds. 2009. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 14: Bush-shrikes to Old World Sparrows. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8496553507
  3. Wikipedia
  4. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved October 2016)

Recommended Citation

External Links

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