Glossy-starlings all of sub-Saharan Africa

Renowned for its members’ vividly iridescent plumage, showcasing a spectrum of metallic blues, greens, and purples that shimmer in the sunlight. These birds are native to the African continent, where they are observed across a variety of habitats, from open savannahs to woodlands and forests.

Lamprotornis starlings exhibit a gregarious nature, often found in flocks that can number in the hundreds, especially outside of the breeding season. Their social structure allows them to effectively forage and watch for predators, creating a bustling community of activity wherever they are found.

These birds are omnivorous, with diets that can adapt to the availability of food resources throughout the seasons. They feed on a wide range of items, from fruits and nectar to insects and small vertebrates. This versatility in diet allows them to exploit different ecological niches and contribute significantly to the biodiversity of their environments. For instance, by consuming fruits and passing the seeds through their digestive tracts, they are critical agents for seed dispersal, aiding in the propagation of various plant species.

Lamprotornis starlings also play a role in pest control, as their insectivorous habits help regulate populations of insects, some of which may be agricultural pests. They exhibit intelligent foraging behavior, utilizing their strong beaks to probe into bark or dig into the soil to uncover hidden invertebrates.

The nesting habits of Lamprotornis starlings involve the construction of nests in tree cavities or abandoned woodpecker holes, where they lay glossy blue or green eggs. The nests are often reused or repaired each year, and both parents participate in incubating the eggs and feeding the young.