Violet-Backed Starling

violet-backed-starling

Identification:

16cm. An unmistakable Starling
Male:
Iridescent metallic purple head, throat, back and tail
Deep purplish blue wings
White breast and belly, occasionally lightly streaked
Iris with yellow outer ring and dark inner ring
Female:
Brown head and back with streaked appearance
White belly, heavily streaked
Juveniles are similar to females.

Habitat:

Mountain cliffs, savanna woodland (avoids thick evergreen forests), gardens, bushland near fruiting trees.

Behaviour:

Common intra-African migrant.

Diet:

The diet includes fruit, especially figs, and some insects.
Forages mainly in trees and spends only little time on the ground.

Breeding:

They nest in tree holes lined with green leaves. The clutch consists of 2-4 pale blue oval eggs with reddish-brown spots. Incubated by the female for 2 weeks. Both adults care for the young for 3 weeks, feeding them mainly insects. Brood parasitism by Lesser honeyguide recorded, possibly also host to Greater honeyguide.

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