Tristram's starling

Tristram's starling

Tristram's starling

Onychognathus tristramii

Tristram's starling (Onychognathus tristramii ) or Tristram's grackle, is a species of starling native to the Middle East. Its territory is in the areas of Israel, Jordan, northeastern Egypt (Sinai Peninsula), western Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Oman, nesting mainly on rocky cliff faces. The species is named after Reverend Henry Baker Tristram, who also collected natural history specimens.


A member of the genus Onychognathus, it is 25 cm long (including a 9 cm tail), with a wingspan of 44–45 cm, and a weight of 100–140 g. The males have glossy iridescent black plumage with orange patches on the outer wing, which are particularly noticeable in flight. The bill and legs are black. Females and young birds are similar but duller and with a greyish head, lacking the plumage gloss.

Habits and Lifestyle

It is gregarious and noisy, with a call that resembles a wolf whistle. They are omnivorous, feeding on fruit and invertebrates, and can also be observed grooming Nubian ibex and domestic livestock for parasites. They are becoming increasingly commensal with man, feeding in towns and villages; this has enabled a recent northward spread in their distribution.

Seasonal behavior
Bird's call

Diet and Nutrition



1. Tristram's starling Wikipedia article -'s_starling
2. Tristram's starling on The IUCN Red List site -
3. Xeno-canto bird call -

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