A bird of riverine forests and floodplains with mature woodland, the Meves’s Starling (or Longtailed Starling) subsists on a diet of insects, fruits and flowers, foraged mostly on the ground. Adults measure approximately 34cm long, including the very long tail, and weigh around 75g.
These striking birds breed in spring and summer, building their nests inside cavities in trees – often using the same nest in successive years. The female takes sole responsibility for incubating the clutch of 3-5 eggs, which usually takes just short of 3 weeks, but both parents are involved in rearing the chicks, which fledge when they’re about 3 weeks old.
Meves’s Starling has a limited distribution in southern Africa – from Zambia and Malawi south to the Limpopo Valley on the border of South Africa with Botswana and Zimbabwe, meaning that the Mapungubwe National Park and the Pafuri region of the Kruger National Park is the most accessible locations in our country to go looking for them. The IUCN lists this species as being of least concern.