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About Superb Starling (Click-Readmore)

Superb Starling

Scientific name: Lamprotornis superbus
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Sturnidae
Genus: Lamprotornis
Species:L. superbus
Conservation status: Least Concern

This species has a very large range and can commonly be found in East Africa, including Ethiopia, Somalia, Uganda, Kenya, Sudan, and Tanzania.

The Superb Starling frequents open scrub and woodland, even in very arid areas. It is also found in gardens and cultivated areas, lakeshores and close to human habitations. It usually avoids the humid lowlands, but it is seen mostly below 2200 meters of elevation.

Adult has glossy blue-green upper parts, with darker blue tinge on the nape. Upper wing is rather glossy metallic green, with black spots on the coverts tips. The tail is relatively short and glossy blue-green. On the under parts, chin, throat and breast are similar to the upper parts. A narrow white band crosses the breast. Belly, flanks and thighs are chestnut. Under tail coverts are white. On the under wing, coverts are white too. Head is bronzy-black on crown and ear-coverts. The bill is black. Eyes are whitish. Legs and feet are black.

The Superb Starling feeds mainly on varied species of insects, but it also takes berries and fruits, and nectar for some plants. Insects are usually taken from the ground, as fruit and seeds. It may approach human settlements where it scavenges and takes the remains of meals and begs for food around the lodges and the picnic areas. This species is very popular among tourists. This bird is usually found in large flocks. Outside the breeding season, they gather at night in roosts which may contain from small groups to thousands of birds

The Superb Starling feeds mainly on insects caught on the ground such as beetles, flies, ants, termites, grasshoppers, mantis and caterpillars.They also consume berries and small fruits of several plant species, and nectar from Agave sisal Ana.

The breeding season varies according to the range. The Superb Starling is primarily monogamous, but females may mate with other males of the group, and sometimes with non-members of this group. The nest is relatively large, a domed structure with side entrance. It is made with twigs, and the interior is lined with grass and some feathers. It is placed above the ground, and usually in thorny tree which provides good protection. This species may also use holes in trees or even in cliffs. Female lays 4 dark blue eggs, and incubates alone during about 12-14 days. Chicks are fed by both adults and by helpers. Young fledge about 17-25 days after hatching, but they still depend on parents and helpers for food for 4-7 weeks after leaving the nest.