Family Starlings (Sturnidae)

Least Concern

Samoan Starling (Aplonis atrifusca)


French: Stourne de Samoa German: Samoastar Spanish: Estornino de Samoa

Lamprotornis atrifusca


, 1848,

Upolu, Samoa




Samoan Is, occurring in Samoa (Savaii and Upolu) and American Samoa (Tutuila, Ofu, Olosega and Tau).

Descriptive notes

30 cm; 125–158 g. Large starling with longish square-ended tail and strong bill. Forehead, crown and nape are dark brown with violet-green iridescence, mantle brown... read more


Calls monosyllabic, include harsh screech and softer whistles, also rasping and squeaking notes.... read more


Primarily coastal vegetation and plantations, also lower forests, especially when partially logged... read more

Food and feeding

Diet mainly fruit, especially guavas (Psidium), bananas (Musa) and papayas (Carica papaya); also invertebrates.... read more


Season probably at least Mar–Jul. Nest in hole in tree, one 10 m up in hole in top of coconut palm (Cocos nucifera). Eggs... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Restricted range species: present in Samoan Islands EBA. Common. Numbers on Tutuila fell by c. 66% in early 1990s following a hurricane. Considered... read more

Recommended citation

Craig, A. & Feare, C. (2020). Samoan Starling (Aplonis atrifusca). 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).