Family Starlings (Sturnidae)

Least Concern

Sharpe's Starling (Pholia sharpii)


French: Choucador de Sharpe German: Rostbauchstar Spanish: Estornino de Sharpe

Pholidauges sharpii

F. J. Jackson

, 1898,

Eldama Ravine, Kenya




SE South Sudan, SC & SW Ethiopia, extreme E DRCongo, W Uganda, W parts of Rwanda and Burundi, Mt Elgon (E Uganda–W Kenya border), N, C & S Kenya, and N, W & SW Tanzania.

Descriptive notes

18 cm; 40–56 g. Small starling with distinctive plumage. Has crown, side of head, nape and entire upperside, including wing and tail, glossy blue-black; chin, throat... read more


Song, by male from songpost, a short series of very high, thin sharp whistles, rising and falling,... read more


Montane forest in high-rainfall areas, also forest edges and clearings, and isolated copses of... read more

Food and feeding

Primarily frugivorous; some insects taken. Fruits eaten include Sapium, Olea, Bridelia, Eugenia capensis... read more


Season Feb–Apr in Sudan and Ethiopia, Apr–Jun in W Kenya and Oct–Dec in Tanzania; likely (on basis of breeding condition... read more


Presumed resident, but local movements likely. Absence from Rwandan forest during Oct–Dec... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Locally common to uncommon. Fragmented distribution in mountains, with isolated records in W & SW Tanzania. Single record from Mafinga Mts, in... read more

Recommended citation

Craig, A. & Feare, C. (2020). Sharpe's Starling (Pholia sharpii). 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).