You are here

Superb Starling

Lamprotornis superbus
Conservation Status: 
Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.
Northeast Africa
Open scrub and woodlands

The Superb Starling population trend is unknown by the IUCN but there is a saying in Kenya that the only way to avoid seeing a superb starling is to walk around with your eyes closed!  They break up into cooperative breeding groups during the breeding season.  During the rest of the year they join together to roost in flocks of thousands of birds.  They are social birds and adapt well to being near human settlements.

Their metallic color comes from structural coloration.  Ridges of protein on the feather interfere with white light to produce their color and sheen.

They build spherical nests of grasses and twigs in bushes, in trees of medium height and also in rock crevices. Females lay 3 to 4 dark blue eggs which are incubated for 12 days. Both the male and the female take care of the offspring.  Previous offspring may also assist in collecting nest material and feeding young, a behavior called cooperative breeding.