Family Starlings (Sturnidae)

Least Concern

Rüppell's Starling (Lamprotornis purpuroptera)


French: Choucador de Rüppell German: Schweifglanzstar Spanish: Estornino de Rüppell
Other common names: Rüppell's Glossy Starling

Lamprotornis purpuroptera


, 1845,

Shoa district, south-western Ethiopia


Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • L. p. aeneocephalus Heuglin, 1863 – SE Sudan, South Sudan, NW Eritrea and W Ethiopia.
  • L. p. purpuroptera Rüppell, 1845 – C & S Ethiopia, NE DRCongo, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, W & S Kenya, S Somalia, and NW & NE Tanzania.
  • Descriptive notes

    35 cm; 78–92 g. Large glossy starling with long, graduated tail. Nominate race has crown, chin and side of head blue-green with bronzy sheen, nape blue with purple... read more


    Song a long warbling, relatively musical series consisting of both sweet notes and harsh ones, with... read more


    Grassland with scattered trees and bushes, in arid areas usually near water; occurs at up to 2000 m... read more

    Food and feeding

    Described as almost omnivorous; collects food scraps at camp sites. On Laikipia Plateau, Kenya, ate fruit of Euclea divinorum,... read more


    Breeds Oct–Dec in Sudan, Mar–Jul in Ethiopia and Eritrea, Aug–Nov in Rwanda, mainly Mar–May in W Kenya and Uganda,... read more


    Presumed resident in most areas; may also be nomadic. Ringed individual in Ethiopia recovered 9... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common within most parts of its range; considered the commonest starling species in Uganda. Occurs within many E African protected areas. Old records... read more

    Recommended citation

    Craig, A. & Feare, C. (2020). Rüppell's Starling (Lamprotornis purpuroptera). 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 24 February 2020).