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Tristram's Starling - BirdForum Opus

Revision as of 23:46, 31 March 2023 by Deliatodd-18346 (talk | contribs) (→‎External Links)
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Alternative names: Tristram's Grackle; Tristram's Red-winged Starling

Male and female
Photo by lior kislev
Yotveta , South Arava, Israel, October 2007
Onychognathus tristramii


25cm. A fairly large, dark starling with a medium-length tail. The only red-winged Starling in its range.

  • Glossy black plumage
  • Reddish-brown primaries
  • Dark brown eye
  • Blackish bill
  • Black legs

Females have a grey head with dark streaks on nape and lower throat. Juveniles resemble males but are less glossy.

Photo by DOC
Perse river bed, Israel, April 2004


Israel, Jordan, Egypt (Sinai region), western and southern Saudi Arabia, and Yemen.
Common to locally abundant.


This is a monotypic species.
Has been considered to from a superspecies (or even to be conspecific) with Red-winged Starling.


Rocky cliff faces. Now also in urban areas.


They usually gather in flocks and are quite noisy. Forms big roosts with several hundreds of birds outside breeding-season.


The diet includes fruit and invertebrates; they groom Nubian Ibex and domestic livestock for parasites.


Breeding season March to June in Israel. A monogamous species, sometimes forming loose colonies. Their nests are mainly in crevices or rock surfaces and they occur from sea level to 3000m. Lays 2 - 4 eggs.


A resident species, sometimes partly nomadic.


  1. Clements, JF. 2010. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2010. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019. Spreadsheet available at http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/Clements%206.5.xls/view
  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

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