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Splendid Starling - BirdForum Opus

(Redirected from Splendid Glossy-Starling)
Photo by Ughelli12
Port Harcourt, Nigeria

Alternative name: Splendid Glossy Starling

Lamprotornis splendidus


28cm. A large glossy starling.

  • Glossy blue-green crown sharply demarcated from glossy green nape and mantle
  • Iridescent blue back tinged with purple
  • Glossy blue-green rump
  • Glossy green wings with blue tips and spots and purple areas
  • Small triangular golden-bronze patch between ear-coverts and throat
  • Purple chin, throat, breast and upper belly with some bronze sheen
  • Iridescent blue lower underparts
  • Yellowish-white eye
  • Black bill and legs

Females are similar but duller and with less contrast. Juveniles have first only some gloss on wings and tail, a matt grey belly and brown eyes.

Similar species

Easily mistaken for Purple Glossy Starling, but differ in whitish eye, greener crown and nape, small coppery patch on lower ear-coverts and other details. On Principe may be confused with endemic Principe Glossy Starling.


Found in Africa from Senegal east along the coast and inland to south-western Ethiopia, south to Democratic Republic of the Congo, Angola and Zambia.
Common in parts of its range, generally more uncommon in east of range.


Four subspecies recognized:


Primary and secondary lowland forest. Occurs also in forest patches, gallery forest or park and gardens with tall trees. From sea-level up to 2000m, 2300m in East Africa. On Principe restricted to lowland forest and plantations.



Feeds mainly on fruit, takes sometimes insects and other animals (frogs, lizards or snails).
Forages in small flocks in the canopy, mostly above 30m.


Breeding season December to May in western Africa. A monogamous species. The nest is placed in a tree hole. Lays 2 eggs.


A resident species with some local movements.


  1. Clements, JF. 2010. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2010. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019. Spreadsheet available at http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/Clements%206.5.xls/view
  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

External Links

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