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Superb Starling

Range:

Northeast Africa: Ethiopia, Somalia, Tanzania and the Sudan.

Habitat:

Woodland, thorny bush and acacia country as well as in close proximity to human habitation, even within cities.

Characteristics:

The superb starling is a small but distinctive bird with metallic greens and blues on its chest, back and wings and duller black on top of its head. The chestnut belly is divided from the dark chest by a stripe of white. There is white also under the wing and under the tail base. Eyes are pale yellow. Immature birds are duller black without the breast band and have dark eyes. Sexes are alike.

Superb Starling Click to View Bigger Picture
Behavior:

The superb starling is gregarious and feeds in groups on the ground, often near towns and fields or near animal herds. Its song is a varied whistling and warbling, its alarm is loud and whining. It often mimics other species.

Reproduction:

Courtship behavior involves small jumps on the ground, trailing wings, neck outstretched. Breeding season varies within range. Usually four green/blue eggs are laid in a nest of grass and twigs lined with feathers low in a thorny bush or tree or in a cliff hollow. Male and female share responsibility for nest building, incubation, and feeding of young.

Interesting Facts:

The starling family of 103 species includes mynah birds and oxpeckers. Starlings are all old world natives, mostly from Asia and Africa (except for the common starling, native to Europe, and one species in Australia). The common starling has been introduced to the new world.

Superb Starling
Range
Class: aves
Genus: Spreo
Species: superbus
Height: 7 inches
Average Lifespan: 15
Wild Diet: Insects, berries, human scraps.
USFWS Status: Not Listed
CITES Status: Not Listed
Where at the Zoo? Small Animal Building: Rainforest


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