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Hildebrandt's Starling - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by GordonH
Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania, June 2010
Lamprotornis hildebrandti

Identification

18cm (7 in)

  • Dark glossy blue forehead and crown
  • Bronze-green half-collar on nape
  • Dark glossy blue upperparts
  • Bronze-green wing with dark spots
  • Glossy blue-green tail
  • Dark glossy purple chin, throat, ear-coverts and upper breast
  • Light orange-buff lower breast and upper belly
  • Rufous lower belly, flanks, thighs and undertail-coverts
  • Orange-red eye
  • Black bill and legs

Sexes similar. Juveniles have dull charcoal-grey upperparts and pale chestnut-brown underparts, a brown eye, a dull yellow eyering and a dull orange-yellow bill.

Similar species

Distinguished from commoner Superb Starling by lack of white breast band and in having a paler breast than the belly. Shelley's Starling has much darker rufous underparts.

Distribution

From north-central Kenya south to northern Tanzania.
Fairly common to uncommon in its range.

Taxonomy

This is a monotypic species.
Has been considered conspecific with Shelley's Starling and both have been included in a superspecies with Chestnut-bellied Starling.

Habitat

Open bush and open woodland. Also around cattle and settlements. Occurs at 500 - 2200m.

Behaviour

Diet

Feeds mainly on insects (like beetles and grasshoppers), may also take fruit.
Forages in pairs or small flocks on the ground. Feeds often together with Superb Starling, Greater Blue-eared Glossy-Starling or Wattled Starling.

Breeding

Breeding season from March to May and October to December, May to July on Laikipia Plateau in Kenya. Co-operative breeding reported. The nest is placed in a tree hole or in an artificial hole (in a lamppost or telegraphe pole). Lays 3 - 4 eggs. Brood parasitism by Great Spotted Cuckoo reported.

Movements

Presumably a resident species.

References

  1. 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/
  2. 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

Recommended Citation

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