Family Starlings (Sturnidae)

Least Concern

Magpie Starling (Speculipastor bicolor)


French: Choucador pie German: Spiegelstar Spanish: Estornino urraca

Speculipastor bicolor


, 1879,

Kipini, Kenya




S & E Ethiopia, Somalia, NE Uganda, Kenya (except SW) and NE Tanzania. Probably nomadic or non-breeding visitor S from S Somalia and C Kenya#R.

Descriptive notes

19 cm; 66–69 g. Small starling with white abdomen. Male has head and upperparts, chin, throat and upper breast glossy blue-black, remainder of breast region, belly,... read more


Song a soft babbling with harsher notes; captive male sang for extended periods. Flight call a... read more


Open bushy and wooded country in arid to semi-arid regions, mainly below 1200 m.

Food and feeding

Recorded items include fruit of Ficus, Rhus, Strychnos henningsii and Solanum; insects such as... read more


Season May–Jun in Kenya, possibly Feb–Apr in Ethiopia, and Apr–Jun in Somalia; perhaps breeds opportunistically in... read more


Generally regarded as nomadic; in some areas movements appear to represent regular migration, with... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Locally common. Occurs in arid regions unsuited to permanent human settlement.

Recommended citation

Craig, A. & Feare, C. (2020). Magpie Starling (Speculipastor bicolor). 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 17 February 2020).