|Genus:|| Creatophora |
The wattled starling (Creatophora cinerea) is a nomadic resident in eastern and southern Africa. It is a species of grassland, open woodland and cultivation.
Africa is the world's second largest and second most-populous continent, being behind Asia in both categories. At about 30.3 million km2 including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earth's total surface area and 20% of its land area. With 1.2 billion people as of 2016, it accounts for about 16% of the world's human population. The continent is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Isthmus of Suez and the Red Sea to the northeast, the Indian Ocean to the southeast and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The continent includes Madagascar and various archipelagos. It contains 54 fully recognised sovereign states (countries), nine territories and two de facto independent states with limited or no recognition. The majority of the continent and its countries are in the Northern Hemisphere, with a substantial portion and number of countries in the Southern Hemisphere.
This is the only African starling which appears to show affinities with the Asian starlings, particularly the genus Sturnus. Its bare face patches and ability to open-bill feed in grassland are unique amongst African starlings. It is the only member of the genus Creatophora.
Starlings are small to medium-sized passerine birds in the family Sturnidae. The name "Sturnidae" comes from the Latin word for starling, sturnus. Many Asian species, particularly the larger ones, are called mynas, and many African species are known as glossy starlings because of their iridescent plumage. Starlings are native to Europe, Asia and Africa, as well as northern Australia and the islands of the tropical Pacific. Several European and Asian species have been introduced to these areas as well as North America, Hawaii and New Zealand, where they generally compete for habitats with native birds and are considered to be invasive species. The starling species familiar to most people in Europe and North America is the common starling, and throughout much of Asia and the Pacific, the common myna is indeed common.
This common species appears to be extending its range into West Africa, and has also occurred in Arabia, Madagascar and the Seychelles.
Madagascar, officially the Republic of Madagascar, and previously known as the Malagasy Republic, is an island country in the Indian Ocean, approximately 400 kilometres off the coast of East Africa. The nation comprises the island of Madagascar and numerous smaller peripheral islands. Following the prehistoric breakup of the supercontinent Gondwana, Madagascar split from the Indian subcontinent around 88 million years ago, allowing native plants and animals to evolve in relative isolation. Consequently, Madagascar is a biodiversity hotspot; over 90% of its wildlife is found nowhere else on Earth. The island's diverse ecosystems and unique wildlife are threatened by the encroachment of the rapidly growing human population and other environmental threats.
Seychelles, officially the Republic of Seychelles, is an archipelago country in the Indian Ocean. The capital of the 115-island country, Victoria, lies 1,500 kilometres (932 mi) east of mainland East Africa. Other nearby island countries and territories include Comoros, Mayotte, Madagascar, Réunion and Mauritius to the south; as well as the Maldives and British Indian Ocean Territory to the east. With a population of roughly 94,228, it has the smallest population of any sovereign African country.
The wattled starling is 21 cm long, with a short tail and pointed wings. It has mainly grey plumage except for a white rump, and black flight feathers and tail. The breeding male has a white shoulder patch and a distinctive head pattern, with unfeathered yellow skin, and black forehead and throat wattles. The extent to which these seasonal features develop increases with the age of the bird, and some old females may show a weaker version of this plumage.
The non-breeding male has a feathered head except for a small yellow patch behind the eye. There are no wattles, but there is a black moustachial stripe. The white shoulder patch is much reduced. The female and juvenile plumages are similar to the non-breeding male, but the flight feathers and tail are brown.
The black flight and tail feathers and white rump make this species unmistakable in flight.
This species has a range of wheezing or grating calls comparable to those of the common starling, but the most familiar is a wheezing ssreeeeo.
The common starling, also known as the European starling, or in the British Isles just the starling, is a medium-sized passerine bird in the starling family, Sturnidae. It is about 20 cm (8 in) long and has glossy black plumage with a metallic sheen, which is speckled with white at some times of year. The legs are pink and the bill is black in winter and yellow in summer; young birds have browner plumage than the adults. It is a noisy bird, especially in communal roosts and other gregarious situations, with an unmusical but varied song. Its gift for mimicry has been noted in literature including the Mabinogion and the works of Pliny the Elder and William Shakespeare.
The wattled starling is a colonial breeder, and may share its colonies with the Cape weaver. It always nests in trees or bushes, including acacias and eucalyptus at between 1 and 10 m above the ground. The globular nest is made from twigs and lined with grass or feathers. The two to five, usually three or four, eggs are pale blue, immaculate or with some brown spots, and are laid before the dome of the nest is completed. Both sexes build the nest, incubate the eggs and feed the young.
The Cape weaver is a species of bird in the weaver family, Ploceidae, found in southern Africa.
Acacia, commonly known as the wattles or acacias, is a large genus of shrubs and trees in the subfamily Mimosoideae of the pea family Fabaceae. Initially it comprised a group of plant species native to Africa and Australia, with the first species A. nilotica described by Linnaeus. Controversy erupted in the early 2000s when it became evident that the genus as it stood was not monophyletic, and that several divergent lineages needed to be placed in separate genera. It turned out that one lineage comprising over 900 species mainly native to Australia was not closely related to the mainly African lineage that contained A. nilotica—the first and type species. This meant that the Australian lineage would need to be renamed. Botanist Les Pedley named this group Racosperma, which was inconsistently adopted. Australian botanists proposed that this would be more disruptive than setting a different type species and allowing this large number of species to remain Acacia, resulting in the two African lineages being renamed Vachellia and Senegalia, and the two New World lineages renamed Acaciella and Mariosousa. This was officially adopted, but many botanists from Africa and elsewhere disagreed that this was necessary.
Eucalyptus is a genus of over seven hundred species of flowering trees, shrubs or mallees in the myrtle family, Myrtaceae commonly known as eucalypts. Plants in the genus Eucalyptus have bark that is smooth, fibrous or stringy, leaves with oil glands, and sepals and petals that are fused to form a "cap" or operculum over the stamens. The fruit is a woody capsule commonly referred to as a "gumnut". Australia is covered by 92,000,000 hectares of eucalypt forest, comprising three quarters of the area covered by native forest.
The eggs hatch after 11 days, and the chicks leave the nest in another 13–16 days. They cannot fly, and suffer heavy predation from large birds of prey.
Birds of prey, or raptors, include species of bird that primarily hunt and feed on vertebrates that are large relative to the hunter. Additionally, they have keen eyesight for detecting food at a distance or during flight, strong feet equipped with talons for grasping or killing prey, and powerful, curved beaks for tearing flesh. The term raptor is derived from the Latin word rapio, meaning to seize or take by force. In addition to hunting live prey, most also eat carrion, at least occasionally, and vultures and condors eat carrion as their main food source.
Breeding is linked to an abundant insect supply, and colonies will be abandoned, even with chicks in the nest, if, for example, locust swarms are destroyed by control measures.
The wattled starling is highly gregarious and will form large flocks, often with other starlings. Its reedbed roosts, which can be huge, may also be shared.
Like other starlings, the wattled starling is an omnivore, taking a wide range of invertebrates seeds and berries, but its diet is mainly insects including many locusts, leading to the local name "locust bird".[ citation needed ]
It will scavenge at rubbish heaps, and frequently perches on livestock, feeding on insects disturbed by the animals and also removing ectoparasites.
The black turnstone is a species of small wading bird. It is one of two species of turnstone in the genus Arenaria the ruddy turnstone being the other. It is now classified in the sandpiper family, Scolopacidae, but was formerly sometimes placed in the plover family, Charadriidae. It is native to the west coast of North America and breeds only in Alaska.
The grey plover, known as the black-bellied plover in North America, is a medium-sized plover breeding in Arctic regions. It is a long-distance migrant, with a nearly worldwide coastal distribution when not breeding. The genus name is Latin and means relating to rain, from pluvia, "rain". It was believed that golden plovers flocked when rain was imminent. The species name squatarola is a Latinised version of Sgatarola, a Venetian name for some kind of plover.
The black francolin is a gamebird in the pheasant family Phasianidae of the order Galliformes, gallinaceous birds. It was formerly known as the Black Partridge. It is the state bird of Haryana state, India.
The African grey hornbill is a member of the hornbill family of tropical near-passerine birds found in the Old World. It is a widespread and common resident breeder in much of Sub-Saharan Africa and into Arabia. The African grey hornbill has escaped or been deliberately released in to Florida, USA, but there is no evidence that the population is breeding and may only persist due to continuing releases or escapes.
The pin-tailed sandgrouse is a medium large bird in the sandgrouse family. It has a small, pigeon like head and neck and a sturdy, compact body. It has long pointed wings, which are white underneath, a long tail and a fast direct flight. Flocks fly to watering holes at dawn. The call is a loud kattar-kattar. This gregarious species breeds on dry open treeless plains and similar habitats. Its nest is a ground scrape into which two or three cream-coloured eggs with cryptic markings are laid. Both sexes incubate the eggs.
The pririt batis also known as the pririt puff-back flycatcher or pririt puffback, is a small passerine bird in the wattle-eye family. It is resident in Southern Africa and southwestern Angola.
The tambourine dove is a pigeon which is a widespread resident breeding bird in woodlands and other thick vegetation in Africa south of the Sahara Desert. Its range extends from Senegal east to Ethiopia and Kenya and southwards through eastern Africa to south-eastern South Africa, but it is absent from the drier areas of south-western Africa. There is a population on the Comoros Islands.
The greater striped swallow is a large swallow that is native to Africa south of the equator.
The lesser striped swallow is a large swallow. It breeds in Sub-Saharan Africa from Sierra Leone and southern Sudan south into eastern South Africa. It is partially migratory with South African birds wintering further north. West African birds leave the north of the breeding range in the dry season.
The white-throated swallow is a small bird in the swallow family. It is a common species, found in southern Africa, which has benefited from the increased nesting opportunities presented by the construction of bridges and dams.
The pied starling or African pied starling, is a bird endemic to South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. It is common in most of its range, but largely absent from the arid northwest and the eastern lowlands of South Africa. It is found in open habitats such as grassland, karoo scrub, thornbush and agricultural land, and often associates with farm animals.
The river lapwing is a lapwing species which breeds from the Indian Subcontinent eastwards to Southeast Asia. It range includes much of northern and northeastern India, and extends through Southeast Asia to Vietnam. It appears to be entirely sedentary. Formerly also called spur-winged lapwing, this name is better reserved for one of the "spur-winged plovers" of old, Vanellus spinosus of Africa, whose scientific name it literally translates. The masked lapwing of Australasia was at one time also called "spur-winged plover", completing the name confusion - particularly as none of these is a plover in the strict sense.
Fischer's starling is a bird which is an uncommon resident breeder from southern Ethiopia and Somalia to eastern Kenya and Tanzania. It is found in dry open acacia thornbush.
The little sparrowhawk is a species of Afrotropical bird of prey in the family Accipitridae. It is the smallest member of the genus Accipiter and forms a superspecies with the red-thighed sparrowhawk.
The white-collared starling is a species of starling in the family Sturnidae. It is monotypic within the genus Grafisia. It is found in Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Gabon.
The Senegal batis is a species of small passerine bird in the wattle-eyes family, Platysteiridae. It occurs in western Africa where it is found in dry savanna and subtropical or tropical dry shrubland. It was originally given the binomial name Muscicapa senegalensis by Carl Linnaeus in 1766.
The white-starred robin is a species of bird in the Old World flycatcher and chat family Muscicapidae. It is also sometimes more simply called the starred robin. It is monotypic within the genus Pogonocichla. There are around twelve subspecies. The species is found in East and southern Africa. It is a forest species, occurring in montane forest in the north of its range but closer to sea level further south. This is a brightly coloured robin with a bright yellow breast and belly, a slate coloured head with spots on the eyes and throat and blueish wings.
The Australian pratincole is a species of bird in the family Glareolidae. It breeds in Australia's interior; it winters to northern and eastern parts of the island, Indonesia and New Guinea. It is a medium-sized nomadic shorebird which is commonly found in arid inland Australia. It breeds predominantly from south-western Queensland to northern Victoria and through central Australia to the Kimberley region in Western Australia. The Australian population is estimated at 60 000. They are a migratory species that generally move to the southern parts of their distribution range to breed during spring and summer. During winter they migrate to northern Australia, New Guinea, Java, Sulawesi and southern Borneo to over-winter. Although they are common, their occurrence is unpredictable and varies in location.
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