Pale-winged Starlings inhabit arid, rocky landscapes, especially those with a preponderance of cliffs and other similarly inaccessible areas. They follow an omnivorous diet of fruit, nectar, seeds, insects and small reptiles, and unlike most other species of starling generally avoids areas of human habitation. They’ve also been observed to remove ticks and other parasites from mountain zebras and klipspringers. Adults grow to about 27cm in length and weigh around 100g.
Nests are cups of sticks and dry grass placed on cracks and crevices on cliff sides, usually in small colonies consisting of a few pairs nesting in close proximity. Clutches of 2-5 eggs are laid in spring and summer and incubated by the female for around 3 weeks. Both parents feed the chicks, which leave the nest between 3 and 4 weeks after hatching.
Pale-winged Starlings occur in South Africa’s Eastern, Western and Northern Cape, extending marginally into the Free State and North West Provinces. They also occur widely in Namibia as well as in the extreme south of Angola, and thanks to a common and stable population is considered of least concern by the IUCN.