Family Starlings (Sturnidae)

Least Concern

Purple Starling (Lamprotornis purpureus)


French: Choucador pourpré German: Purpurglanzstar Spanish: Estornino purpúreo
Other common names: Purple Glossy Starling

Turdus purpureus

Statius Müller

, 1776,

Juida = Benin


Populations from Cameroon E to W Kenya often separated as race amethystinus (described from S Sudan), supposedly somewhat bluer above and slightly longer-tailed than those in W of range; further study required. Treated as monotypic.


Senegambia, extreme S Mauritania#R, Guinea-Bissau, S Mali and N Guinea E (mainly in savanna belt) to S Chad, N Central African Republic, SW Sudan, South Sudan, Uganda and W Kenya.

Descriptive notes

27 cm; 91–140 g. Large glossy starling with short tail and relatively large bill; eye often appears large. Has forehead and crown purple, lores black, nape and... read more


Song, noted from flocks in trees during heat of day, a sustained chatter. Flight call "twee-twee";... read more


Open savanna woodland N of forested zone, open areas with scattered bushes and trees, also in burnt... read more

Food and feeding

Diet fruit, nectar and insects. Fruits of Ficus and Zizyphus, and of exotic neem (Azadirachta indica); nectar of... read more


Season Apr–Jul in Gambia, Ghana and Nigeria, Mar–May in Sudan, and Feb–Apr in Uganda. Nest in tree hole, sometimes under... read more


Presumed resident, as present throughout year in most areas; local movements likely, as in e.g.... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Locally common to abundant; perhaps the most abundant glossy starling in parts of W Africa; uncommon in extreme E of range (W Kenya). During early... read more

Recommended citation

Craig, A. & Feare, C. (2020). Purple Starling (Lamprotornis purpureus). 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).