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White-billed Starling

White-billed Starling
Photo Information
Copyright: Peter van Zoest (PeterZ) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-08-07
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D300, AF Nikkor 70-300mm f4-5.6 G, Digital RAW
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/100 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2008-11-13 9:37
Viewed: 5552
Points: 38
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Another new species for TN: the White-billed Starling, onychognathus albirostris.
When we visited a monastery build into a cave high up in the mountains and I saw that there was a waterfall, I hoped to see this starling. And after a quarter of an hour there they were. A male and a female. But they were far away from the place I was, on the roof of the monastery. I had to walk half through the waterfall to come any closer. This is a big crop of the photo with only the male. It’s not first quality, but I hope it’s good enough to please you.

ENDEMIC bird to the Abyssinian highlands of Ethiopia with a range of almost 99.000 km2 , where it is distinguished from all other rufous-winged starlings by its short, square tail and white bill. Male has all-black head; female has head and underparts ashy grey; juvenile resembles male.

Habitat: Cliffs and gorges above 1800 m, usually near waterfalls; also in moorland with Giant Lobelias.

Status: Locally common resident; flocks in non-breeding season (up to 40 birds), feeding on juniper fruits and figs, sometimes together with White-collared Pigeons.

Voice: Typically a whistled ‘cheee-up’, shorter and less melodious than red-winged Starling’s; alarm call is harsh ‘carr’.

Source: ‘Birds of Africa, South of the Sahara’ by Ian Sinclair and Peter Ryan.

eng55, carper, jaycee, siggi, maurydv, eqshannon, Alex99, Jamesp, ramthakur, nglen, albert, boreocypriensis has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To jaycee: StarlingPeterZ 1 11-13 11:29
To carper: ScherptePeterZ 1 11-13 10:33
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • eng55 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1256 W: 42 N: 1976] (5892)
  • [2008-11-13 9:42]

Hi Peter,
Thanks for this new spiece.Well caught and composed.
Thanks for posting.

nou Peter als ik even naar de rest van je foto's kijk valt deze mij toch een beetje tegen, maar het zal wel een bijzondere vogel zijn want ik heb hem niet eerder gezien. Jammer van de scherpte. verder goed natuur werk.
groet Jaap

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-11-13 10:49]
  • [+]

Hi Peter,

Congratulations once again for a first on TN! It's very interesting to see this Starling with the white bill. A lovely pose and beautiful irridescent colors. Even though the quality is not up to your standards I'm glad you posted this bird that many of us might never have seen.


Ciao Peter, my today neighbour, beautiful bird with fantastic matallic plumage, excellent details, very well done, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2008-11-13 12:25]

Hello Peter
Very nice capture ,Good sharp image with nice color,Good POV , I also like the details from the feather.
Regards Siggi

Ciao Peter,
altra splendida cattura per la prima volta su TN, l'immagine non è della migliore qualità e risente del forte crop, ma la luce era veramente poca, molto bella la composizione.

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2008-11-13 14:33]

Hi Peter,surely nt your best pic about the quality,but this very interesting and unusual bird must be show on Tn. My best compliments,the colors are fanatstics,have a nice day,luciano

  • Great 
  • efsus Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 415 W: 11 N: 843] (3947)
  • [2008-11-13 15:49]

Merhaba Peter,
Bu farklı ve daha önceden tanımadığım kuşları bizlerle paylaştığın için çok teşekkürler. Fotoğrafta biraz detay kaybı olduğu görülüyor. Yine kuştaki güzellkleri görmemize engel değil.
Eline sağlık.


Good image of a bird which was hard to image..Please forgive me for playing with it a bit..I do think it is a quality image..and almost embarrassed to suggest anything other.

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2008-11-13 21:30]

Hi Peter.
It really is wonderful bird. You have pictured it at so expressive pose and managed to show all its features. Wonderful reflection of bird's colouration and other details. My best regards and TFS.

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2008-11-13 22:39]

Hi Peter,
Wonderful shot of this elegant looking White-billed Starling. Though the image is a bit soft but it still retains its beauty. Nice colours and illumination. Excellent POV and composition.

  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2008-11-13 23:23]

Hi Peter

Congratulations on this new species. Although a bit grainy (on my screen) a valuable contribution.


Peter, the image hassuffered due to long distance. However, as the first on TN, it is a great shot of this unique Starling. Itscolours are really very attractive.
Thanks for this picture from Ethiopia.

  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2008-11-14 11:31]

Hello Peter, great capture of this rare bird, of course it's not at your usual high standards but we can enjoy that bird quite enough, well done!


  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-11-14 12:48]

Hi Peter. This was a good trip for new birdsfor you and all on TN so a big congrats.. Well worth posting the picture showing the bird in its natural habitat.

Hello Peter

You catch birds better than my cat,and he is pretty good unfortunately.
Well seen with good detail.
The plumage is well seen.
Nicely composed.


Hello Peter,
Nice capture of this new species for TN
Nice compo but a bit noisy on my screen too

Hello Peter, sorry i missed this one. i think you upload it while i was in hospital. Wonderful shot of this beautifully coloured starling.
TFS and cheers,


  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2014-07-09 16:44]

Hi Peter
thanks for the nice comment on my blue flycatcher. This white billed is also very nice and unique to me. Excellent pose and details of the bird.


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