Backyard BirdsUncategorized

White-billed Starlings

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The White-billed Starlings (Onychognathus albirostris) is known by a variety of names, including White-billed Chestnut-wing, White-billed Chestnut-winged Starling, White-billed Red-winged Starling or White-billed Starling.  This starling occurs naturally in the mountains of the following African countries: Eritrea and Ethiopia.


These starlings are named for their pale bills or chestnut-collared wings.  The rest of the plumage is mostly blackish or greyish on the head down to the chest / upper back.  There are feathers in front of eye directed forwards along the bill.


They measure about ~ 25 cm / 10 inches from top of the head to the tip of the comparatively short tail.  They generally weigh between 130-145 grams (4.6-5.1 oz) from top of the head to the tip of the tail.

Calls / Vocalizations:

Their songs are d escribed as an intermediate between chatter and musical whistling; and their calls as a repeated “kwit-kwit”.

Nesting / Breeding:

White-billed Starlings are monogamous.  They usually nest in rock crevices in cliffs or – in urban areas – on buildings.  The average clutch consists of four eggs.

Global Names:

  • Catalan:  estornell becblanc
  • Chinese:  白嘴栗翅椋鸟 / 白嘴栗翅椋鳥
  • Croatian:  etiopski čvorak
  • Czech:  špaček bělozobý
  • Danish:  Etiopisk Sortstær
  • Dutch:   Witsnavelspreeuw
  • Finnish: etiopianrakkeli
  • French:  Rufipenne à bec blanc
  • German:  Weißschnabelstar
  • Hungarian:  fehércsőrű dalosseregély
  • Italian:  Storno beccobianco
  • Japanese:  hashijiroterimuku / ハシジロテリムク
  • Lithuanian:   Baltasnapis ilgauodegis varnėnas
  • Norwegian:  Kvitnebbstare / Hvitnebbstær
  • Polish:  czarnotek białodzioby
  • Portuguese:  estorninho-de-bico-branco
  • Russian:  Белоклювый скворец
  • Slovak:  liskavec bielozobý
  • Spanish:  Estornino Piquiblanco
  • Swedish:  vitnäbbad glansstare
  • Ukrainian:  Моріо ефіопський


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Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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