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Superb Starling (Lamprotornis superbus)

The Superb Starling (Lamprotornis superbus) is a member of the starling family of birds. It can commonly be found in East Africa, including Ethiopia, Somalia, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. Used to be known as Spreo superbus


This species is 18 to 19 cm (7–7.5 inches) long. Adults 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. The undertail coverts and the wing linings are white. Juveniles have duller plumage with no more than a suggestion of the white breast band. Their irises are brown, later grayish white, eventually the adult's cream-colour.


The Superb Starling has a long and loud song consisting of trills and chatters. At midday it gives a softer song of repeated phrases. There are several harsh calls, the most complex of which is described as "a shrill, screeching skerrrreeee-cherrrroo-tcherreeeeeet."


This species feeds on the ground.


The Superb Starling is similar to Hildebrandt's Starling also found in East Africa. The Superb Starling is distinguished by having white eyes, as opposed to red eyes in the Hildebrandt's.

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Taken on February 22, 2012