Alternative name: Greater Blue-eared Glossy Starling
- Lamprotornis chalybaeus
21-24 cm (8¼-9½ in). A rather large starling with a relatively short tail.
- Blue-green forehead, crown, nape and upperparts
- Blackish lores
- Glossy-blue ear-coverts forming a distinctive patch
- Blue-green wings
- Glossy-blue green chin, throat, breast and undertail-coverts
- Blue flanks, belly and tighs with violet sheen.
- White to yellow to orange to red eye
- Black bill and legs
Sexes similar. Juveniles much duller.
Lesser Blue-eared Glossy-Starling is smaller with a narrower ear patch and magenta belly and flanks. Bronze-tailed Glossy-Starling has a shorter tail and a darker orange-yellow eye. Cape Glossy-Starling has green ear patches, belly and flanks.
Western Africa: found in Mauritania, Senegal, The Gambia, Mali, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo, Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, Zaire
Eastern Africa: Sudan, South Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi
Southern Africa: Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal
Common in most of its range.
Lamprotornis chalybaeus has four subspecies:1
- L. c. chalybaeus
- L. c. cyaniventris
- L. c. sycobius
- L. c. nordmanni
Dry savanna woodland, in some regions extending into desert.
Occurs largely above 500m.
Forages, often in flocks, on the ground and in trees.
Eats fruit, nectar and insects.
Monogamous. The nest is built in a cavity (often an old woodpecker or barbet nest) in a tree. Two to five eggs are incubated for 13-14 days by the female.
The song is rambling with a whining tone. The call is nasal squee-aar.
- Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
- Hockey, PAR, WRJ Dean, and PG Ryan, eds. 2005. Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa. 7th ed. Cape Town: John Voelcker Bird Book Fund. ISBN 978-0620340533
- Sinclair, I and P Ryan. 2003. Birds of Africa South of the Sahara. Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0691118154
- 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
- BirdForum Opus contributors. (2021) Greater Blue-eared Starling. In: BirdForum, the forum for wild birds and birding. Retrieved 21 June 2021 from https://www.birdforum.net/wiki/Greater_Blue-eared_Starling