Overview

Brief Summary

The Greater Blue-eared Starling or Greater Blue-eared Glossy-starling (Lamprotornis chalybaeus) is a bird that breeds from Senegal east to Ethiopia and south through eastern Africa to northeastern South Africa and Angola. It is a very common species of open woodland that undertakes some seasonal movements. Read more...
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Systems
  • Terrestrial
  • Freshwater
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Lamprotornis chalybaeus

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 4
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2012

Assessor/s
BirdLife International

Reviewer/s
Butchart, S. & Symes, A.

Contributor/s

Justification
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
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Population

Population
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is reported to be common to abundant (Feare et al. 1998).

Population Trend
Stable
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Wikipedia

Greater blue-eared starling

The greater blue-eared starling or greater blue-eared glossy-starling (Lamprotornis chalybaeus) is a bird that breeds from Senegal east to Ethiopia and south through eastern Africa to northeastern South Africa and Angola. It is a very common species of open woodland bird, and undertakes some seasonal migration.

Description[edit]

From behind

The greater blue-eared starling is a 22-cm long, short tailed bird. This starling is glossy blue-green with a purple-blue belly and blue ear patch. Its iris is bright yellow or orange. The sexes are similar, but the juvenile is duller and has blackish brown underparts.

The populations from southern Kenya southwards are smaller than northern birds and are sometimes considered to be a separate subspecies, L. c. sycobius.

The lesser blue-eared starling is similar to this species, but the blue of the belly does not extend forward of the legs.

The greater blue-eared starling has a range of musical or grating calls, but the most familiar is a nasal squee-ar.

Behaviour[edit]

Breeding[edit]

Adult and juvenile in Kruger National Park, South Africa
Adult in South Africa

The greater blue-eared starling nests in holes in trees, either natural or excavated by woodpeckers or barbets. It will also nest inside the large stick nests of the sacred ibis or Abdim's stork. A nest will include three to five eggs, which are usually greenish-blue with brown or purple spots, and hatch in 13–14 days. The chicks leave the nest roughly 23 days after hatching.

This species is parasitised by the great spotted cuckoo and occasionally by the greater honeyguide.

Roosting[edit]

The greater blue-eared starling is highly gregarious and will form large flocks, often with other starlings. Its roosts, in reedbed, thorn bushes, or acacia, may also be shared.

Feeding[edit]

Like other starlings, the greater blue-eared starling is an omnivore, taking a wide range of invertebrates seeds and berries, especially figs, but is diet is mainly insects taken from the ground.

It will perch on livestock, feeding on insects disturbed by the animals and occasionally removing ectoparasites.

References[edit]

  • Feare, Chris; Craig, Adrian (1999). Starlings and Mynas. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-7136-3961-X. 
  • Sinclair, Ian; Hockey, Phil and Tarboton, Warwick (2002). SASOL Birds of Southern Africa. Struik. ISBN 1-86872-721-1. 
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