Family Starlings (Sturnidae)

Least Concern

Purple-headed Starling (Hylopsar purpureiceps)


French: Choucador à tête pourprée German: Samtglanzstar Spanish: Estornino cabecipúrpura
Other common names: Purple-headed Glossy Starling

Lamprocolius purpureiceps

J. P. Verreaux and J. B. É. Verreaux

, 1851,

West Africa = Gabon




S Benin, S Nigeria and S Cameroon E to S Central African Republic and Uganda, S to N Angola (Cabinda) and SW, N & NE DRCongo.

Descriptive notes

18 cm; 50–79 g. Fairly small, short-tailed dark starling. Crown, chin, throat and chest are deep glossy purple, sharply demarcated from adjacent plumage areas; nape,... read more


Song apparently a series of short, musical calls; sings in chorus, and imitations of Common Bulbul... read more


Evergreen lowland forest, generally to 1500 m; to 1800 m in E of range.

Food and feeding

Mainly frugivorous; some animal food also taken. Fruits consumed include those of Ficus, Rauwolfia, Heisteria,... read more


Breeds Mar in Cameroon and Dec–Feb in Gabon; in DRCongo, Jun–Oct in NE and Dec–Mar in Kivu region; Apr in Uganda.... read more


Presumed resident, with local movements related to fruit availability.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Locally common in much of range; not uncommon in Cabinda (N Angola). Record from Benin in 1998. Widely distributed in lowland forest. Reported... read more

Recommended citation

Craig, A. & Feare, C. (2020). Purple-headed Starling (Hylopsar purpureiceps). 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).