Red-winged Starling ( Onychognathus morio, family: Sturnidae)

red winged starling kruger national park birds The Red-winged Starling (Latin name Onychognathus morio) is described in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition. This bird has a unique Roberts number of 769 and you will find a full description of this bird on page 961 also a picture of the Red-winged Starling on page 976. The Red-winged Starling belongs to the family of birds classified as Sturnidae. According to the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology the Red-winged Starling is also known by these other names: African Red-winged Starling, Crag Chestnut-winged Starling.

The map of the Kruger you see on this page shows the areas (coloured orange) where this bird has been identified. The basic information was provided by the Avian Demographic Unit based at UCT and I created the maps from that information ... the green dots show the locations of the various Kruger National Park Rest Camps

The Red-winged Starling is neither Endemic or near Endemic to the Kruger National Park. It is however a common resident

In terms of distribution of the Red-winged Starling in the Kruger National Park you may not see it in all areas. Red-winged Starling : see above distribution map.

The Red-winged Starling.

Kruger Park Red Winged StarlingIdentification assistance for this avian species ...

The Red-winged Starling is a bird about the same size as a starling. The height of the Red-winged Starling is about 30 cms and its weight is about 140 gms

You will find that the male Red-winged Starling plumage and colours are different to that of the female Red-winged Starling

  • Head is blue, black.
  • Eye is brown.
  • Bill is black.
  • Throat is blue, black.
  • Back is blue, black.
  • Legs are black.

This bird has normally proportioned leg length.

Main diet items for this bird ...

The Red-winged Starling feeds on the ground mainly




Breeding and nesting habits for this bird ...

The Red-winged Starling is monogamous unless its mate dies. In the event of a partner dying Onychognathus morio will seek out a new mate

The nesting habit of Red-winged Starling is to create the nest in branches of a tree or shrub. The bird lays eggs which are blue in colour and number between 1 to 5

Habitat and flocking behaviour for this bird ...

The preferred habitats for Red-winged Starling are: woodlands and grasslands and riverine areas

You will normally see the Red-winged Starling in flocks.

Names of this avian species in other languages ...

Xhosa ... Isomi

Zulu ... iNsomi/iSomi

Afrikaans ...Rooivlerkspreeu

German ... Rotschwingenstar

Portuguese ... Estorninho-d'asa-castanha

French ... Rufipenne morio

Dutch ... Roodvleugelspreeuw

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For in-depth birding information please refer to these authoritative avian references ...

Robert's 7th edition number ... 769

The main reference source for this data was "Roberts - Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition" . Other references were "Newmans Birds of the Kruger Park" by Keith Newman published circa 1980 . Names in foreign languages were obtained from the Percy Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town website ,