Family Starlings (Sturnidae)

Least Concern

Emerald Starling (Lamprotornis iris)


French: Choucador iris German: Schillerglanzstar Spanish: Estornino esmeralda

Coccycolius iris


, 1879,

Los Islands, coast of Guinea, probably error = interior Guinea


Sometimes placed in a monotypic genus, Coccycolius. Monotypic.


S Guinea, N Sierra Leone and C Ivory Coast.

Descriptive notes

21 cm. Small, distinctive, glossy green starling with medium-length tail. Has curved patch of purple from behind eye, extending over ear-coverts and down towards side of... read more


Wheezy and squeaky calls; captive individual gave high-pitched "pee-pee-pee" in alarm, harsher... read more


Savanna woodland.

Food and feeding

Diet fruit and insects. Fruit of Ficus and Harungana madagascariensis; insects such as ants (Formicidae) and caterpillars... read more


Breeding in Mar in Sierra Leone. May be a co-operative breeder, as captive groups seen to have helpers, latter including adults and... read more


Presumed resident; some local movements, possibly seasonal. Vagrant recorded in SW Mali.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Until surveys in 2012–2013, so poorly known that it was considered Data Deficient; listed as Least Concern in 2015. Reported as... read more

Recommended citation

Craig, A., Feare, C. & Sharpe, C.J. (2020). Emerald Starling (Lamprotornis iris). 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 27 January 2020).