restricted access Glossy-starlings
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Burchell’s Starling L: 32 cm (13") A large, long-tailed, blue-purple glossystarling with subtly barred wings, black face, and a round-tipped, not graduated, tail . Meves’s Starling is smaller-bodied, with a proportionately longer, graduated tail . Burchell’s Starling is a common resident south of Shingwedzi in drier thornveld, and at camps, where it is tame and approachable . It feeds on the ground and low in trees, searching mainly for invertebrates, small vertebrates and fruits . Meves’s Starling L: 34 cm (13") This large, long-legged starling is similar to Burchell’s Starling, being bright glossy blue-purple overall with a black face, but has a smaller body and a very long and graduated tail . It is common in lush savannah from the Levuvu River north, where Burchell’s Starling is rare . It eats insects, fruits and flowers, and hunts on the ground in small groups where its long, floppy tail gives it a distinctive appearance . Glossy-starlings are hole-nesters, and will aggressively usurp cavities from barbets, woodpeckers and woodhoopoes, or breed opportunistically in the nests of larger birds such as ibises. Glossy-starlings burchell's starling cape glossy starling 140 Cape Glossy Starling L: 23 cm (9") A medium-sized, yellow-eyed, blue-green starling that lacks a dark face (but does have a blackish stripe through the eye), and has rather uniform (not dark blue) flanks and belly and a bluer head and neck . Overall, this species is more uniformly coloured than the similar Greater Blue-eared Starling . It is a widespread and common resident throughout Kruger, favouring savannah in arid thornveld, and is a frequent scavenger at camps and rest stops . When not begging for handouts, it feeds on a range of invertebrates and fruits, and has been known to follow ungulates and prey on insects they disturb, as well as to glean skin parasites, such as ticks, off large mammals . The call is a cheerful “chee-chee-cher” . Greater Blue-eared Starling L: 22 cm (8·5") Similar to Cape Glossy Starling, but can be differentiated by its blackish ear patch and contrasting royal blue flanks and belly . The upperside is glossy green, with two rows of neat black spots across the wing . This starling is a widespread and common resident in woodland and camps throughout Kruger, where it may be seen foraging for invertebrates, flowers and fruits, although it is more often seen scavenging at picnic sites . The call is a distinctive cat-like, nasal “squuee-aar” . BIRDS OF BROADLEAVED WOODLAND AND CAMPS 141 ...