Violet-Backed Starling



16cm. An unmistakable Starling
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
Brown head and back with streaked appearance
White belly, heavily streaked
Juveniles are similar to females.


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


Common intra-African migrant.


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


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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