Greater Blue-eared Starling

Lamprotornis chalybaeus

The Greater Blue-eared Starling is a common bird of savanna and woodland habitats. They are omnivorous, feeding on invertebrates, seeds, nectar, fruit and berries. They form fairly large flocks, especially outside of the breeding season, and often associate with other kinds of glossy starlings. Adults reach a length of 24cm and weigh from 68-105g.

Greater Blue-eared Starlings breed in spring and summer in holes in trees or inside the stick nests of larger birds like storks and ibises, lined with grass and feathers. Pairs are monogamous, and clutches contain 2-5 eggs that are incubated by the female for 2 weeks. The chicks fledge at 3 weeks old.

The IUCN considers the Greater Blue-eared Starling of least concern. It occurs in a band along the Sahel from west Africa to Ethiopia, and then southwards to northern South Africa, where it can be found in parts of the Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces and is very common in the camps and picnic areas of the Kruger National Park.

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19 thoughts on “Greater Blue-eared Starling

  1. kim blades, writer

    Hello. I don’t think I have seen one of these starlings before. We get glossy starlings and red-winged starlings in Durban. They have increased in number here over the years, together with the disappearance of the hoopoes, robins, crested barbets and golden orioles from Durban gardens. Don’t know whether those are related occurrrences.

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  2. John

    Wow, really beautiful bird who shine. Just the word shine is in the birds Swedish name. Well caught, you really see how it’s “shining” about the starling.

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  3. JANE

    The behaviors of the Greater Blue-eared Starling sound very much like the starlings found in our nearby picnic areas and parks. I love the iridescent quality of their feathers… also a characteristic of those near you and near me. Except I admire the color of yours. 😉

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