Alternative name: Purple-headed Starling; Velvet-headed Glossy Starling
- Lamprotornis purpureiceps
18cm. A small, short-tailed and dark starling.
- Deep glossy purple crown, chin, throat and chest, sharply demarcated from rest of plumage
- Glossy greenish-blue nape, mantle, back and rump
- Iridiscent blue wings, shading to violet on outer margins of primaries
- Black tail with faint purple gloss
- Glossy greenish-blue belly and flanks
- Black undertail-coverts
- Dark brown eye
- Black bill and legs
Sexes similar, juveniles are matt charcoal-grey with some gloss on the wings.
Found in Africa from southern Nigeria east to southern Cameroon, Gabon, Congo, western and northern DRC, Uganda and western Kenya. Also south to northern Angola (Cabinda).
Records from Guinea and Ivory Coast need confirmation due possible confusion with very similar Copper-tailed Glossy Starling.
Locally common in much of its range.
This is a monotypic species.
Placed in genus Hylopsar by Gill and Donsker.
Evergreen lowland forest. Occurs up to 1500m, up to 1800 in eastern parts of range.
Feeds mainly on fruits, takes also some animal food.
Usually seen in pairs or small flocks. Sometimes in bigger groups of up to 100 birds.
Breeding season differs through range. A monogamous species. The nest is placed in a tree hole up to 26m above the ground. One reported nest contained 3 eggs.
Presumably a resident species with some local movements related to fruit availability.
- Clements, JF. 2011. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to August 2011. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019. Spreadsheet available at http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/downloadable-clements-checklist
- Del Hoyo, J, A Elliott, and D Christie, eds. 2009. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 14: Bush-shrikes to Old World Sparrows. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8496553507
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