Family Starlings (Sturnidae)

Least Concern

Meves's Long-tailed Starling (Lamprotornis mevesii)


French: Choucador de Meves German: Mevesglanzstar Spanish: Estornino de Meves
Other common names: Meves’s Starling, Southern Long-tailed Starling

Juida Mevesii


, 1856,

Okavango River, Botswana


Hitherto treated as conspecific with L. benguelensis and L. violacior (although distinctiveness of former has frequently been noted); for differences, see those two species. Monotypic.


Extreme SE Angola (SE Cuando Cubango), extreme NE Namibia, N & E Botswana, S & E Zambia, S Malawi (R Shire), Zimbabwe (except highlands), W & SW Mozambique and extreme N South Africa (N Limpopo Province).

Descriptive notes

30–36 cm; 56–85 g. Fairly large starling with long, strongly graduated tail, central rectrices clearly longest. Adult has lores and ear-coverts blackish, often... read more


Song a churring "chwiri-chwirrchwee-chwirr chowee". Harsh "tssac" in alarm.


Open woodland with tall trees such as acacias (Acacia), mopane (Colophospermum)... read more

Food and feeding

Diet chiefly insects, also some fruit. Insects recorded are termites (Isoptera), beetles (Coleoptera), ants (Formicidae), mole-crickets (... read more


Breeds Feb in Botswana, Feb–Mar in Zambia, Dec–Mar in Malawi, Nov–Apr in Zimbabwe, and Dec–Mar in South Africa;... read more


Presumed resident, but occasional wandering reported, especially in dry season, e.g. in S Malawi.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Common to locally very common in E parts of range (e.g. river valleys in Zambia and Liwonde National Park, S Malawi), but generally... read more

Recommended citation

Craig, A., Feare, C. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Meves's Long-tailed Starling (Lamprotornis mevesii). 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 5 April 2020).