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Emerald Starling

Lamprotornis iris
Conservation Status: 
Least Concern
West Africa
Open Savannahs and Woodlands

The Emerald Starling's plumage is predominantly iridescent green, with the exception of a patch beneath its eyes and its undersides, which are iridescent purple.  This colour derives from structures in the feather that amplify certain types of light with their shape.  This is called structural colour.

Emerald Starlings are adept at catching insects while in flight and use their strong beaks to forage for bugs. They also eat fruit and seeds when available.

For nesting, Emerald Starlings utilize small holes discovered in tree stumps or trunks. The nesting process involves the collaborative efforts of both the male and female, who construct a cup-shaped nest and provide food for their chicks. Interestingly, green leaves have been observed to play a role in the courtship process. Females possess a brood patch, a featherless spot on their stomachs that aids in transferring body heat to the eggs. They can live up to 14 years.

The Emerald Starling's population trend remains unknown, as it has only been evaluated since 2015 and insufficient data is available at present. Bird Kingdom is part of a Species Survival Plan to help preserve this species in human care.