Family Starlings (Sturnidae)

Least Concern

Shelley's Starling (Lamprotornis shelleyi)


French: Choucador de Shelley German: Shelleyglanzstar Spanish: Estornino de Shelley

Spreo shelleyi


, 1890,



See L. hildebrandti. Monotypic.


S & E Ethiopia and N Somalia, probably also SE South Sudan and N Kenya; non-breeding Ethiopia (except N part of the range), SE South Sudan, N & E Kenya, NE Tanzania and S Somalia.

Descriptive notes

16 cm; 45 g. Has crown, chin, throat and upper breast glossy dark purple, matt black patch from lores to ear-coverts, narrow bronzy-green collar on nape; upper­parts dark... read more


Song of short phrases combining whistles, nasal calls and scratchy sounds, described as a melange... read more


Semi-arid bushed and wooded country, especially with Commiphora, from sea-level to c. 1300... read more

Food and feeding

Few data. Perhaps more insectivorous than frugivorous; in Kenya, common along R Tana when Salvadora bushes fruiting. Forages on... read more


Season Mar–Apr in Ethiopia; Apr–Jun in Somalia, where may be double-brooded. Nest a lining of grass and feathers in tree hole... read more


Migratory; some perhaps sedentary within breeding areas. Moves N into Ethiopia and Somalia in Mar... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Locally common to very common within small breeding range. Appears to be rather uncommon in much of non-breeding range. Habitat occupied by this... read more

Recommended citation

Craig, A. & Feare, C. (2020). Shelley's Starling (Lamprotornis shelleyi). 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).