• BirdForum is the net's largest birding community dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE!

    Register for an account to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Hildebrandt's Starling - BirdForum Opus

Revision as of 00:34, 21 September 2018 by Deliatodd-18346 (talk | contribs) (Imp size. C/right. Basic update. References updated)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Photo © by GordonH
Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania, June 2010
Lamprotornis hildebrandti


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.


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


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.


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



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 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.


Presumably a resident species.


  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

External Links