Superb Starling


ORDER: Passeriformes

FAMILY: Sturnidae

GENUS: Lamprotornis

SPECIES: superbus

DESCRIPTION:
Reaching about 7 inches long, they have black heads and iridescent blue-to-green back, upper breast, wings, and tail. The belly is red-orange, separated from the blue breast by a white bar. As an adult the irises become white in color. Juveniles' plumage is dull, with hardly any white on the breast and the irises are brown.

GEOGRAPHICAL RANGE AND HABITAT:
Found in Northeast Africa (Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda) around woodlands and thorn bush, as well as in agricultural fields and around urban parks as well.

DIET:
Omnivorous. This bird usually feeds on the ground, often under or near acacia trees, primarily eating insects, seeds and fruit.

LIFE CYCLE/SOCIAL STRUCTURE:
Diurnal and social. You can often find them with the less common Hildebrandt's Starling. They are so similar you must look for red eyes instead of white. The nest is built of grass, leaves, and twigs. It is usually built in a thorn bush, but some birds nest in holes in cliffs. Typical clutch size is between two to five blue-green eggs, and they are incubated by both parents, the pair of whom is reported to be monogamous. The eggs hatch in about 13-15 days, and the youngsters fledge about three weeks after hatching. Groups of up to six pairs nest near each other, and juveniles help feed the young.

SPECIAL ADAPTATIONS:
The Superb Starling has a long and loud song consisting of trills and chatters. At midday it gives a softer song of repeated phrases.

INTERPRETIVE INFORMATION:
The appearance of these birds is very similar to the Hildebrandt's starling. To tell the two species apart, look at their eyes. The Hildebrant's starling had red eyes, while the superb starling has cream-colored eyes.

OUR ANIMALS:
The Superb Starlings can be found in the African Savanna aviary near the elephants.

STATUS IN WILD:
Common. Listed as Least Concern by the IUCN.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

  1. Internet: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superb_Starling
  2. Internet: http://lazoo.org/animals/birds/starling_superb/index.html
  3. Internet: http://www.hoglezoo.org/meet_our_animals/ animal_finder/superb_starling/
  4. Internet: http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/22710767/0