Types of Starlings in South Africa:

  • European Starling (most common)
  • Cape Glossy Starling
  • Black-Bellied Starling
  • Pied Starling
  • Red-Winged Starling

Diseases Carried

It has been suggested that there are over 60 other diseases that birds and their droppings can carry.

Examples of bird diseases associated with pigeons, geese, starling and house sparrows:

  • Histoplasmosis is a respiratory disease that may be fatal.
  • Candidiasis is yeast or fungus infection spread by pigeons.
  • Cryptococcosis is caused by yeast found in the intestinal tract of pigeons and also starlings.
  • Louis Encephalitis is an inflammationof the nervous system that causes drowsiness, headache and fever.
  • Salmonellosis often occurs as food poisoning and can be traced to pigeons, starlings and sparrows.
  • E.coli. Cattle carry E. coli 0157:H7.

Did you know?

  • Starlings are a familiar sight in our gardens, male and females are identical.
  • People are usually confused between a Starling and a Black Bird; however on close inspection they are very different.
  • Starlings are much smaller (20cm), shorter tailed and ‘move’ differently, compared to Black Birds.
  • Starlings prefer walking rather than hopping and will cover ground fairly quickly.
  • Legs are pink in summer becoming duller in winter.
  • Bill is sharp, yellow in summer and dark in winter.
  • In flight Starlings are very angular, with triangular shaped wings and short tail, flight is rapid.