Burchell’s Starling – Lamprotornis australis
Of all the starlings found in Namibia, this one is probably my favourite. The Burchell’s Starling is not only the biggest of the starling family in Namibia, I think it is also the most characterful starling.
According to my Roberts Bird Guide, the male and female are similar in looks (as in most starlings). The Burchell’s Starling has a rather heavy, round and ungraduated tail with dark eyes. In Namibia it is fairly easy to recognise, as it is the biggest starling in the region. It prefers open Acacia woodland which is just about the whole of central and northern Namibia. As it is so big, this starling is happy with only insects, but will also go for mice and fruit. Not a natural born singer or contestant for Idols, the Burchell’s Starling has a range of harsh notes and whistles.
The one in the photo was seen on a lodge (Hobatere Lodge) on the western edge of the Etosha National Park in Namibia.