Similar in general field appearance, two ‘long tailed’ glossy starling species are resident year-round within the Kruger National Park.

Fortunately, the two starling species are almost geographically exclusive, with Meves’s Starling frequenting the low-lying northern sector along the Luvuvhu and Limpopo River systems, while Burchell’s Starling is predominately found in open and heavily grazed areas in the central and southern parts of the park.

Meves’s and Burchell’s share the striking purple iridescence associated with the suite of ‘blue’ starlings of Southern Africa, but with ‘dark’ eyes and ‘long tails’ as key differential features setting them apart from the ‘yellow eyed’ starling species.

Meves’s also sports a longer less rounded tail compared to Burchell’s, but for the rest it is habitat preference that serves to differentiate between the two species in the field.

For more information on these two ‘long tailed’ glossy starling species, email Patrick at