A Glossy Shimmering Blue-Green Bird With Beautiful Contrasting Iridescent Royal Blue To Violet Tones – Meet The Greater Blue-eared Starling!

A medium-sized iridescent blue to glossy green bird with beautifully contrasting royal blue to violet flanks!

Meet the Greater blue-eared starling

Photo Courtesy of Derek Keats / CC BY 2.0

The greater Blue-eared starling (Lamprotornis chalybaeus), is a glossy blue-green bird with a purple-blue belly and blue ear patch with contrasting royal blue to violet flanks. The eyes are a bright yellow-orange color.

Photo Courtesy of Bernard DUPONT/CC BY 2.0

Both males and females are quite similar, while juvenile birds are duller with blackish to brown bellies.

Photo Courtesy of Bernard DUPONT / CC BY-SA 2.0

The Greater Blue-eared starling is endemic from Senegal all the way east to Ethiopia, and south through eastern Africa to northeastern South Africa and Angola.

Photo Courtesy of Sascha Wenninger / CC BY 2.0

This species likes open woodland whereas an omnivorous bird, they feed on a range of invertebrates, seeds and berries, and figs.

Though insects, in general, are its main food source.

Photo Courtesy of Bernard DUPONT / CC BY 2.0

The Greater Blue-eared starling tends to nest in tree cavities or abandoned nests of barbets and woodpeckers. The female lays a clutch of up to 3-5 eggs that are green-blue in color with purple spots. The eggs are then incubated for 13-14 days before hatching. Fledglings then leave the nest after about 13-14 days.

Photo Courtesy of Ron Knight / CC BY 2.0

These birds are often found perching on livestock feeding on insects disturbed by these animals, and occasionally removing ectoparasites.

Photo Courtesy of Bernard DUPONT / CC BY 2.0

Due to its wide range, this bird is at least threat on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.