Family Starlings (Sturnidae)

Least Concern

Splendid Starling (Lamprotornis splendidus)


French: Choucador splendide German: Prachtglanzstar Spanish: Estornino espléndido
Other common names: Splendid Glossy Starling

T[urdus]. splendidus


, 1822,

Malimbe, Cabinda, Angola


Race bailundensis intergrades with nominate in N Angola (Malanje). Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • L. s. chrysonotis Swainson, 1837 – from Senegal E to S Togo.
  • L. s. splendidus (Vieillot, 1822) – S Benin, Nigeria, Príncipe I (in Gulf of Guinea) and C & S Cameroon E to S South Sudan and W Ethiopia, S to Congo, N Angola, C DRCongo, Uganda, W Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi and NW Tanzania.
  • L. s. lessoni (Pucheran, 1858) – #RBioko.
  • L. s. bailundensis (Neumann, 1920) – N & E Angola, S DRCongo and Zambia.
  • Descriptive notes

    28 cm; 111–155 g. Large glossy starling with brilliant iridescence, medium-length tail. Male nominate race has crown glossy blue-green, sharply demarcated from glossy... read more


    Song loud, sounding (to human ear) strongly discordant, containing various gurgling, creaking and... read more


    Primary and secondary lowland forest, including isolated forest patches and gallery forest; parks... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet predominantly fruit, also insects; occasionally other animals, including frogs, lizards and snails (Gastropoda). Fruits recorded as... read more


    Breeds Dec–May in much of W Africa; Jan–Mar (in breeding condition also in Jul and Dec) in Gabon; in breeding condition Aug... read more


    Primarily resident, with some local movements. Presumed resident on Bioko I, but irregular visitor... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common to not uncommon in W Africa, where locally very common; common in Angola; common to locally very common in Ethiopia; generally uncommon in... read more

    Recommended citation

    Craig, A. & Feare, C. (2020). Splendid Starling (Lamprotornis splendidus). 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).