Purple Glossy Starlings


Scientific Name:
Lamprotornis purpureus

From Senegal and Zaire east to the Sudan and Kenya

Open woodlands, savannahs, scrublands and cultivated areas

Average Size:
Length: 7 inches
Weight: average undocumented


Wild: Insects, fruit and grain

Zoo: Various produce, mealworms and crickets

Incubation: about 13 days
Clutch size: 2-4 eggs

IUCN Status:
Least Concern (LC)

About the Animal
This starling species is considered a ‘glossy starlings’, referring to the beautiful sheen of the feathers. It’s as common in parts of its range as robins are in the United States.

Mating and Reproduction
Purple Glossy Starling pairs engage in courtship behavior that includes jumping on the ground with wings trailing and singing to one another. Preferred nesting sites include thorn bushes, low bushes, and cliff hollows. Purple Glossy Starlings prefer to nest in holes found in old trees, which they line with feathers and plant material. Males and females share responsibility for nest construction.

Hatchlings are cared for not only by the parents, but also by related and non-related younger birds, especially during years of unpredictable rainfall.

Amazing Information
Some birders have noted that during the height of mating season, Purple Glossy Starling males are such enthusiastic swains that they will even sing in the middle of the night when the moon is full in order to attract a female.