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Starling, Meve's (Long-tailed) Starling

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa

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wildtuinman
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Starling, Meve's (Long-tailed) Starling

Unread postby wildtuinman » Tue Jun 28, 2005 6:44 am

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Saw plenty of the in the Pafuri area 2 weeks ago.
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Johann
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Meves's Starling & their little parasite

Unread postby Johann » Sat Jan 12, 2008 12:36 pm

Dave Moore wrote:...Another good place to see birds is at Maloutswa hide which offers lots to see. We where lucky enough to see a pair of Meves Starlings feeding a Honeyguide chick with a never ending supply of frogs. Birds must be colour blind as the chick was bright yellow! ( I only found this out on our last day when a bird expert told me that he had been told it was a Honeyguide)


As Dave mentioned here, the Meves's Starlings were struggling to keep up with their 'foster'-child's demands at the Maloutswa hide in the western section of Mapungubwe.

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Unread postby restio » Sat Jan 12, 2008 1:52 pm

Lovely photos and story. Feel a bit sorry for the poor starlings. :)
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Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Sat Jan 12, 2008 2:47 pm

Johann made a very nice contribution about the Meve's Starling and a greater honeyguide chick.

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Unread postby naomi c » Wed Jan 16, 2008 4:06 pm

Interesting sighting and very nice photo's Johann. We missed that but heard about it from someone we met at Leokwe and then again and the tented camp - a guy called Werner driving a red Gelandewagen. He told us about the sighting and how he so much wanted to photgraph it also but the light was not good enough for his camera. (He does not have a digital camera and calls it his "dinosaur")
Off topic now, but the birds of prey that congregated around the quelea nesting site on the way to Maloutswa hide - were they Lesser Spotted Eagles? I thought so but would love to have confirmation because it would be a new tick for me.

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Unread postby Johann » Wed Jan 16, 2008 5:09 pm

naomi c wrote:Interesting sighting and very nice photo's Johann. ...a guy called Werner driving a red Gelandewagen.


Thanks Naomi. Yes, we met Werner. He was with us at the hide when I took my first set of photos. We then thought it might be a Greater Spotted Cuckoo chick. They also parasitise on Starlings but I did some homework when I got back to camp and found it to be the Honeyguide.
He insisted that he saw a Ross' Turaco at the boardwalk. Said he had a clear and close-up view of it. Now that would've been one major sighting!

naomi c wrote:Off topic now, but the birds of prey that congregated around the quelea nesting site on the way to Maloutswa hide - were they Lesser Spotted Eagles? I thought so but would love to have confirmation because it would be a new tick for me.


The raptors that I saw in the trees and could id were all Lesser Spotted. Circling above the trees I could identify the Lesser Spotted and also some Steppe Eagle with the former in much larger numbers. Could unfortunately not get a Steppe at eye-level for any pics.
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Unread postby Owl » Mon Jan 21, 2008 9:17 am

Awesome pictures of the juv GH and MS foster parents.
Its very interesting to note that Greater Honeyguides have such a wide range of hosts, compared to most other bird parasites that are host species specific or host family specific. Greater Spotted Cuckoo is a well known parasite on crows and large starlings. When I was up in the park last week I saw Greater Spotted Cuckoos a couple of times being mobbed by the Meve's Starlings.

I also saw the Lesser Spotted Eagle raiding the quelea nests and mixed flocks of Steppe and Lesser Spotted in the evenings at termite erruptions.

Did you guys who've also been there recently see the huge numbers of Marabou. They apparently arrive most years to feed on Queleas and their chicks. I didn't see them feeding, but there were several hundred descending en mass from the sky and some roosting in the trees already.

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Unread postby Johann » Mon Jan 21, 2008 11:37 am

Thanks everyone.

Yes, we saw the Marabou. There were about 40 around at the time. There were probably lots more but difficult to say with some on the ground and more soaring in the sky above. They were mixing it up with the 40-50 White Stork that had also arrived for the feast.
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Unread postby naomi c » Mon Jan 21, 2008 8:26 pm

We were at Mazhou from the 26th of December. The Marabous were there from the beginning in great numbers - when driving the Den Staat road in the evening all the dead trees were covered in Marabous roosting for the night.
The white storks arrived only about three or four days before we left (we were booked until 6 January) but it was really amazing to see them in such big numbers. I never got the impression that they were after the quelea nestlings - rather after some kind of insect, grasshoppers perhaps?
The same with the Marabous - we never saw them near the quelea nests, rather in open grassveld.

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Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Thu Jun 26, 2008 1:04 pm

Meves's starling are turning out to be a special bird... I saw my first one at Mapungubwe NP. Soon after seeing it for the first time I realised that Lamprotornis mevesii is quite common here and we enjoyed frequent sightings of it, including getting an indication of how plucky this starling can be.

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Large size

This 2-m plus black mamba was caught out in the open by a small flock of Meves's starlings and they dive-bombed the reptile fearlessly. Comically a small band of Natal spurfowl where following the raucous encounter closely, but from the safe side of the scrap: :lol: the tail-side of the mamba! The starlings would attack from above and behind the snake and caused the mamba some anxious moments until it disappeared down its hole. A mamba moves with its head raised at a height well above the ground. The starlings' attack possitively made it duck on every pass!

The spurfowl immediately went on about their business thereafter while the starlings hung around for a short while, continuing their alarm before eventually also returning to normality.

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Re: Starling, Meve's (Long-tailed) Starling

Unread postby Muhammad » Wed Aug 12, 2009 10:23 pm

Satara,Jan 2009
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Re: Starling, Meve's (Long-tailed) Starling

Unread postby Batmad » Thu Aug 13, 2009 10:32 am

Also saw mine in KNP pafuri area...Just before i reached the picnic spot.
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Re: Starling, Meve's (Long-tailed) Starling

Unread postby Barcud » Sat Nov 28, 2009 3:49 pm

Pic taken South of Olifants.

I never get tired of seeing these birds.

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Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby anne-marie » Fri Dec 11, 2009 5:39 pm

some more please :D

3. Meve's Starling ? 20.10 near Pafuri

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thanks in advance :dance:
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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby deefstes » Fri Dec 11, 2009 6:31 pm

Hi anne-marie,

anne-marie wrote:3. Meve's Starling ? 20.10 near Pafuri
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Yup, that's a Meve's Starling and Pafuri is about as far south as you'll find them in the Kruger National Park.
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