Family Starlings (Sturnidae)

Least Concern

White-crowned Starling (Lamprotornis albicapillus)


French: Spréo à calotte blanche German: Weißscheitel-Glanzstar Spanish: Estornino coroniblanco

Spreo albicapillus


, 1855,



See L. bicolor. Smaller birds from N Kenya and adjacent S Ethiopia described as race horrensis; possibly merits recognition, but further study required. Treated as monotypic.


S & E Ethiopia, N Kenya and N & W Somalia.

Descriptive notes

23–27 cm. Large, pale-eyed starling with distinctive plumage pattern. Has crown white, lores and ear-coverts dull grey, nape and upperparts bronzy green with some gloss... read more


Song of upslurred sounds of varied lengths, transcribed as "krrrri-kuri-kuri-koyi". Shrill, rising... read more


Park-like thornveld and acacia (Acacia) woodland, also open cattle pastures, and near... read more

Food and feeding

Diet includes insects, fruit and seeds. Flocks gather at fruiting Salvadora trees, and feed on cultivated dates (Phoenix... read more


Breeds Mar–May in Ethiopia, Mar–Apr in Kenya and Apr–Jun in Somalia. ­Co-operative breeding suspected, but uncon­... read more


Presumed resident.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Locally common. Utilizes man-modified habitats. May cause some damage to commercial fruit crops, e.g. cultivated dates in Somalia.

Recommended citation

Craig, A. & Feare, C. (2019). White-crowned Starling (Lamprotornis albicapillus). 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 11 December 2019).