Family Starlings (Sturnidae)

Least Concern

Golden-breasted Starling (Lamprotornis regius)


French: Choucador royal German: Königsglanzstar Spanish: Estornino pechidorado

Cosmopsarus regius


, 1879,

Massa, Tana River, Kenya


This species and L. unicolor sometimes placed in a separate genus, Cosmopsarus. Proposed race magnificus (described from Tsavo, in S Kenya) appears inseparable from birds in rest of species’ range. Monotypic.


S & E Ethiopia, Somalia, E Kenya and NE Tanzania.

Descriptive notes

30 cm; 46–63 g. Highly distinctive, colourful starling with very long, narrow, graduated tail. Has crown, nape, chin, throat and cheek glossy greenish-blue, lores and... read more


Song, often from tree during heat of day, an extended warbling. Alarm call harsh "chairr... read more


Dry bush and savanna in arid and semi-arid regions; sea-level to c. 1200 m, generally below 1000 m. read more

Food and feeding

Diet consists primarily of insects, also some fruit of Commiphora and Dobera. Insects include beetles (Coleoptera), ants... read more


Season Mar–May in Ethiopia, Apr–Jun in Somalia, Mar–May and Nov–Dec (during both rainy seasons) in Kenya; may be... read more


Presumed resident; some fluctuation in numbers (as in Tsavo region of Kenya) suggests local... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Common. Inhabits thinly populated regions, and common in national parks within its range.

Recommended citation

Craig, A. & Feare, C. (2020). Golden-breasted Starling (Lamprotornis regius). 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 25 February 2020).