Family Starlings (Sturnidae)

Least Concern

Neumann's Starling (Onychognathus neumanni)


French: Rufipenne de Neumann German: Neumannstar Spanish: Estornino de Neumann

Amydrus neumanni


, 1908,

Petti, northern Nigeria


Sometimes treated as conspecific with O. morio. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • O. n. modicus Bates, 1932 – S Mauritania, SE Senegal, NE Guinea, SW Mali, N Ivory Coast and SW Burkina Faso.
  • O. n. neumanni (Alexander, 1908) – E Mali, S Niger, N & SE Nigeria, N Cameroon, E Chad and adjacent W Sudan, and W Central African Republic.
  • Descriptive notes

    25–30 cm. Large dark starling with long, graduated tail and heavy, deep bill. Male nominate race has uniformly glossy black plumage, except for narrowly black-tipped... read more


    Low whistle from perched birds and musical "too-whee-oo" from nesting pair; melodious whistles... read more


    Rocky outcrops, cliffs and inselbergs within Sahel zone; also around houses along R Niger. As low... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet mainly fruit, including figs (Ficus) and dates of palm Phoenix reclinata; possibly nectar of Bombax;... read more


    Season Mar–Sept in Mali, Jun–Jul in Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso, Apr–May in Nigeria, Feb–Mar in Cameroon, and Jul... read more


    Presumed resident; perhaps nomadic, as periodically absent from breeding areas in Cameroon, and... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Locally not uncommon; scarce in some areas. Wide range, but presence localized because of habitat requirements.

    Recommended citation

    Craig, A., Feare, C. & de Juana, E. (2019). Neumann's Starling (Onychognathus neumanni). 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 6 December 2019).