Family Starlings (Sturnidae)


Abbott's Starling (Poeoptera femoralis)


French: Choucador d’Abbott German: Abbottstar Spanish: Estornino de Abbott

Pholidauges femoralis


, 1897,

Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania


Previously placed in genus Pholia. Monotypic.


Highland forest in SC Kenya (E of Rift Valley) and NE Tanzania.

Descriptive notes

17 cm. Small starling with distinctive plumage pattern. Head, entire upperparts, and chin, throat and breast are blue-black with slight sheen; wing and tail glossy blue-black... read more


Song described as high-pitched and squeaky, with twanging notes; whistling 6-note call, 3 notes... read more


Montane forest, favouring areas of tall trees with discontinuous canopy; 1800–2600 m, ranging... read more

Food and feeding

Diet fruit and insects; fruit of Cornus volkensii recorded. Feeds chiefly in canopy, hawks insects and gleans foliage. In small... read more


Breeding records in Feb, Mar and Oct in Tanzania, and in Oct and Nov in Kenya. Nest in tree hole, including old woodpecker (Picidae) hole;... read more


Resident. Local movements related to fruiting of trees, with fluctuations in numbers and periodic... read more

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. Rare within small range. Some evidence of population decline at sites where formerly categorized as common. In Kenya, generally scarce and local on Mt Kenya; few... read more

Recommended citation

Craig, A. & Feare, C. (2019). Abbott's Starling (Poeoptera femoralis). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 16 December 2019).